Bristol Myers Squibb and the American Music Therapy Association Team Up with Ben Platt and Sister-in-Law Courtney Platt to Launch MS in Harmony, a First-of-its-Kind Music Therapy Offering for People Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Today, Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and the American Music Therapy Association, a premier organization aimed at progressing the therapeutic use of music in rehabilitation, special education, and community settings1, announce their partnership with award-winning actor, singer and songwriter Ben Platt (“The Politician,” “Dear Evan Hansen”) and his sister-in-law Courtney Platt, a dancer, choreographer and actor (“So You Think You Can Dance,” “Glee,” “VH1’s Hit the Floor,” “The Simpsons”) who lives with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS), to launch MS in Harmony. MS in Harmony is the first and only digital offering of its kind and guides people living with multiple sclerosis on how they may achieve mind-body harmony through music therapy.
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“Music is a huge part of who I am, and it has always had the power to shift my emotional and mental state,” said Ben Platt. “Music therapy harnesses the power of music to evoke physical and mental responses,2,3,4 and I’m so proud to be involved with MS in Harmony for my sister-in-law Courtney – and everyone living with MS.”
MS is a disease of the central nervous system that affects nearly one million people in the United States.5 It can trigger a wide range of mental and physical symptoms that can be hard to predict, change over time and uniquely impact those living with the condition.6 Physical symptoms can include limb and foot numbness, difficulty walking, and balance challenges.7,8 Mental symptoms can include memory loss or worsening memory, difficulty processing information, and trouble concentrating and with divided attention.7,9 Research has shown that music therapy may have an impact on both the physical and mental symptoms of MS – as well as some of the emotional challenges that can be associated with the condition, including depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety.10,11,12,13,14 MS is a chronic condition for which there is currently no cure.15
“There’s a growing body of research on the potential benefits of music therapy for people living with MS – and still, many people living with the condition may not have the opportunity to give it a try,” explains Deborah Benkovitz Williams, President of the American Music Therapy Association. “MS in Harmony makes music therapy-based exercises widely accessible to people with MS and their care partners, and we’re proud to partner with Bristol Myers Squibb on this important initiative.”