CONCORD, N.H. — A music therapist hiking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail is planning to read her clients’ poetry, songs and writings along the way.

Julieann Hartley directs the music therapy program at the Concord Community Music School in Concord. Through its “Music in the Community” initiative, Hartley works with children and adults with mental disabilities and mental health disorders at the Woodside School and Riverbend Community Mental Health Center.

She’s gathered creative works from her adult clients at Riverbend, with the plan to read it on top of mountains to give her trip a therapeutic purpose.

She plans to complete her Appalachian Trail hike by Labor Day.

“I have specific states, perhaps a mountain or a kind of weather, that my clients want their work to be shared in,” Hartley said.

She described her role as “being a bit of a minstrel, earning my keep at the occasional hostel and hut by entertaining the other hikers with my stories and songs. I hope to inspire other hikers to make music, eat well and appreciate each step of the journey.”


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