Kechi Okwuchi's Incredible Voice

Published by Gina Glidewell on: May 15, 2018 — Music Therapy

Music therapists are working in a broad variety of fields with varying populations. The following is just one, in a long line of stories where a music therapist made a big impact. This story is about Kechi and a music therapist who changed her world.

Kechi Okwuchi shared her incredible voice and her moving story of pain, courage and triumph over unbearable and unimaginable circumstances. Kechi shared her thankfulness for music therapy, and her powerful songs with music therapy professionals, interns and students from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico at our closing session of the Southwest Regional Conference of the American Music Therapy Association which was held in Lubbock, Texas in April. Do you recognize her from America's Got Talent?

When she was 15, Kechi was in a plane crash killing 107 of 109 passengers when flying home in Nigeria from boarding school for Christmas break. She barely survived with severe burns requiring multiple intensive surgeries. As part of her treatment plan, she received music therapy services from our colleague Christine Tuden Neugebauer at the Shriner Burn Center in Galveston, Texas. It was during music therapy sessions that Kechi reclaimed her love of singing and found her singing voice again. Without her knowing it, one of Kechi's friends submitted a video for America's Got Talent, and she went on to become a finalist in the popular television show.

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