The Music Room recently teamed up with a nationwide organization called Guitars For Vets, donating 22 guitars and eight amps to the cause.  Started in 2007, Guitars For Vets is dedicated to providing music lessons and guitars to veterans who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The organization has grown to over 80 chapters in more than 40 states, providing weekly and monthly lessons to veterans.

“We’re happy we are able to help bring these vets the healing power of music,” said The Music Room owner Carol Cook. “We look forward to being part of ongoing success of this organization.

Sadly, thousands of vets in America are affected with PTSD – more than half of the 2.6 million that served in Iraq and Afghanistan are affected by debilitating anxiety due to their traumatic experiences in the war. In fact, 22 commit suicide every day. Guitar For Vets is working to fix that problem. The organization began when Milwaukee guitar instructor Patrick Nettesheim started teaching Vietnam vet Dan Van Buskirk how to play. It became clear within just a few months that not only was Buskirk easily capable of learning, but playing guitar improved his PTSD symptoms. Since then, more than 30,000 lessons and 3,000 guitars have been provided for free. Classes are held weekly and monthly, both individually and in groups, encouraging creative self-expression, positive interaction with peers, and community engagement.

Since that first experience, success has continued, but recently the organization conducted a clinical trial to provide further evidence that learning guitar offers positive benefits for vets with PTSD.  Results showed the intervention to be effective in reducing depression symptoms as well as improving health-related quality of life.

The Music Room is dedicated to supporting music education both nationwide and in our own hometown of Palatine. Our Gear Shift program converts the community’s unwanted and repairable instruments into working ones for disadvantaged children and adults, who may not otherwise get to play. Now five years old, the program has repaired more than 300 instruments to distribute to the community.