MUSIC IS MEDICINE
What is MUSIC IS MEDICINE?
In high school, I joined Mississippi’s Reject All Tobacco campaign as a performer and troupe leader. The “R.A.T. Pack” combines the arts, education, and technology to teach kids the dangers of nicotine usage. I saw the incredible impact this program had on young children, thus sparking the inspiration for my platform Music Is Medicine. Through Music Is Medicine, I have brought the arts and music to school systems, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Teaming up with groups like the Mississippi Department of Education, Healing Harmonies of Meridian, and William Carey Music Therapy, I am advocating for awareness and expansion for the healing power of music.
The gift of the arts is “COSTLESS yet PRICELESS!” Music Is Medicine moves people of all backgrounds and causes us to connect during a time when we need it most. I believe that everyone has a playlist for their lives. My ultimate objective is to share my personal playlist to empower, educate and heal those I meet. Music truly is Medicine. My question for you is what are you listening to?
After students were sent home from school during the pandemic, I saw a pressing need to bring engagement in the form of virtual learning through the arts. I started reaching out to students and found a passion for bringing the healing power of music to students while they were socially distanced at home.
Through a Microsoft program called Flipgrid, I was able to upload interactive and relevant videos that students could respond to that incorporated music into their lesson plans. The students shared video responses involving music from every corner of the state of Mississippi. I served on the Mississippi Student Advisory Board under the Mississippi Department of Education State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright. I was able to connect directly with state legislators on the needs of students through this opportunity.
I currently work closely with state officials to address the needs of students inside and outside of the classroom. I regularly meet with Dr. Limuel Eubanks, Art Advisor for the state of Mississippi, to discuss the current standing of our students in terms of arts integration in the classroom. We are piloting a curriculum for students to promote Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in public schools in Mississippi. I am assisting with the music division of this program.
I am complete with my tour to a school in each of Mississippi's 82 counties advocating for the arts and sharing my program Music Is Medicine.
I recently attended Mississippi "Arts Day" at the Capitol building in Jackson. I am proud of where Mississippi is going in terms of celebrating and advocating for the arts across the state and in school systems. I continue to work closely with the Mississippi Department of Education.
Teaming up with nursing homes across the state, I bring my “Memories with Maracas” program using rhythm exercises with maracas and uplifting music from the past to residents. I find success in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia wards of nursing homes when it comes to music and memory. Through my contacts with William Carey’s Music Therapy program, I have formulated a program that scientifically benefits the elderly through the arts. Music is with us from the beginning of life, until the end. My Music is Medicine Hubs will fundraise and provide supplies to the nursing homes we serve.
One of my favorite ways to bring "Memories with Maracas" to nursing home residents is by using songs that the residents connect with from their past. One of the most popular artists has been my "Elvis with Emmie" program!
If you would like to donate maracas to "Memories with Maracas," donate to my Amazon Wishlist linked below.
I have partnered with Musicians on Call to help fundraise to benefit those in need of the arts in the form of healing. For over 20 years Musicians On Call (MOC) has brought live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. MOC Volunteer Musicians have performed for more than 900,000 people (patients, families, and caregivers) across the country. MOC provides pharmacy in the form of headphones and tablets, in partnership with Amazon Music and Bose. My next goal is to put together a talent show fundraiser with our local candidates raising funds and awareness for both Musicians On Call and the Miss America Organization. Click the link below to explore what Musicians On Call have to offer or to donate to this incredible organization I have partnered with. My goal is to raise $5,000 dollars for Musicians on Call by the end of my year as Miss Mississippi. Click the link below to donate.
I have worked with Mississippi hospitals make this part of their foundation giving and presenting to the Mississippi Hospital Association Board of Directors and the Mississippi State Medical Association Board of Directors regarding their financial support of this venture. I want to extend a thank you to Dr. Jermey Blanchard of North Mississippi Health Services for connecting me with hospitals and contacts across the state. Thanks to Dr. Blanchard I partnered with North Mississippi Health Services and Mayo Clinic to offer a continuing education class entitled, “Music is Medicine, Touching Lives from Birth to Later Life” where physicians, nurses, social workers, and counselors were able to learn about the healing benefits of music.
THE FUTURE OF
MUSIC IS MEDICINE
Music Is Medicine has already grown tremendously since the creation of the program in September 2019.I was honored to have won the overall Jean Bartel Social Impact award at the Miss America Competition, making history as the first Miss Mississippi to receive this award.
I will be able to utilize this 10,000 dollar scholarship to obtain my higher education.
This award is for the students, hospital patients, and assisted living facility members that benefit from my program and give me the motivation to bring the healing power of music to those who need it most.
I have worked to create Music Is Medicine Hubs on college campuses to provide a statewide network of volunteers and increase local outreach on a more regular basis. I am currently bringing Music Is Medicine to children across Mississippi with scheduled visits in all 82 counties. By the end of my year as Miss Mississippi, I will have directly brought Music Is Medicine to more than 12,000 children. I have been asked to bring music therapy into the NICU at the largest non-metropolitan hospital in America, North Mississippi Medical Center, as a trial for music therapy with babies. I have presented to physician groups like the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians and childcare associations like Excel by 5. Since 2019, I have conducted more than 85 presentations of "Memories with Maracas" and impacted more than 2,500 individuals with this program. I have raised $1000 to purchase 1400 plastic maracas to donate to nursing homes. Music Is Medicine will continue to heal individuals through music for years to come. Ultimately, I would like to create a non-profit organization. I want to pass legislation for S.E.L. curriculum to be implemented in every classroom across the United States and create hubs on college campuses for students to share their own talents to impact others.
It is an honor to think that an idea became an action and in turn impacted thousands of lives and became nationally recognized. The future looks bright!
Music is Medicine.
“Emmie demonstrates outstanding innovation in using the arts, and I am confident she will continue to use her platform to advocate for the importance of music education in Mississippi.”
-Dr. Limuel Eubanks, Mississippi Department of Education Arts Director
"Emmie Perkins has been coming to Montgomery Gardens Assisted Living for two years. The residents look forward to her visits. She not only sings for them but tries to get them involved in every song. Residents are each given a set of maracas and are encouraged to shake and sing along! Some of the residents even get up and dance! They are all smiling and laughing before she leaves."
-Candy Tranum, Lifestyle Coordinator Montgomery Gardens Assisted Living
"When Emmie was a freshman, I approached her to be part of the Partnership for a healthy
Mississippi’s RAT Pack. Oak Grove Theatre was new to this, but because of Emmie’s sweet spirit and giving personality I knew she would be perfect for this. Emmie was one of 8 performers from Oak Grove High School, which has over 1700 students, was chosen to be part of the RAT Pack.
The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi created the RAT Pack to go into elementary schools to
teach the harmful effects of tobacco use. Over Emmie’s time on the RAT Pack, we traveled to twenty-four schools in South Mississippi to spread this message. The RAT Pack students also went to local schools and read to classes, answered questions, and helped students learn to “Tell somebody!” about the harmful effects of tobacco. At our performances, we saw young students have their eyes opened to the dangers of tobacco and the RAT Pack students worked hard to spread that information in a caring way, that let them know you can be “cool” without giving in to peer pressure.
Emmie remained part of our team through her high school career and became one of our leaders.
Through her dedication to the cause and her willingness to work with the elementary students of the schools we visited, she became one of their favorite performers. Emmie always took time to talk to the elementary students after our performances and encouraged them to “tell somebody” and to make the right choice. She volunteered to read our RAT Pack book “Dylan the Smokey Dragon” to different elementary classrooms at schools where we didn’t have a show lined up.
Emmie was a great asset to our RAT Pack team and helped us reach hundreds of elementary
students with the important message of the dangers of tobacco. We were one of the most successful teams in Mississippi and I believe that Emmie had a huge part in making our team successful and loved by so many students."
-Suzanne Allmon Oak Grove High School Theatre Director and RAT Pack Sponsor
"Emmie has and continues to make a difference in the lives of young students
through her example and talents. Emmie has always encouraged others to be
themselves, think for themselves, and trust themselves."
-Leah Thaggard 2nd Grade Teacher and Professional Storyteller
2018-2019 V.F.W. Mississippi Teacher of the Year (Elementary Division)
Oak Grove Lower Elementary School