'Healing Power of Death Metal' Buoys Wounded Vets

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2009 2:45 PM CDT
A Musicorps participant.   (Musicorps.net)
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(Newser) – A new program is putting some smiles on the many pained faces at Walter Reed Army Medical Center—and perhaps even helping wounded veterans recover, Slate reports. The seed for Musicorps came when musician/producer/tinkerer Arthur Bloom was asked to help an amputee there play drums again. Now, the program teaches music and pairs vets with professionals to tap what one calls “the healing power of death metal.”

Musicorps even helps vets at Walter Reed produce their own material. One soldier hopes to shop around a rap track—“about being blown up in Iraq”—to radio. But the thrill of playing and recording could have some different, less financial benefits. Many wounded veterans have injuries to their brains as well as bodies, and a physician associated with the program thinks learning music could well help to mend brain damage.