Van Otterloos Give $500,000 to the Music and Health Institute

Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo have long recognized music’s power to heal.
April 1, 2019

Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo have long recognized music’s power to heal. Their son, Nils van Otterloo B.M. ’01, has studied the impact of music on long-term health, and from him they learned how music helps people with memory problems. In Rose-Marie’s own research, she also discovered “many ways music can lift the burdens of people with severe illnesses.”

Knowing this, she and her husband made their first gift to the Music Therapy Department in 2002, endowing the clinical training program for Berklee students at McLean Hospital. So it was natural for Eijk to take the call when the college reached out about the emerging Berklee Music and Health Institute. The institute builds on the work of the Music Therapy Department but expands to include broad partnerships across the technology, academic, and medical communities.

Last summer, Rose-Marie visited campus and, inspired by the advances made at Berklee, she and her husband decided to commit $500,000 to support the new institute.

“We were very happy to help when the Berklee Music Therapy Department was in its early stages. I had been involved at McLean Hospital and heard about the need for music therapy, and I am happy to know that Berklee music therapy students continue to train at McLean to this day,” Rose-Marie says of their early involvement. “Our recent gift is a great investment,” she says. “The Berklee Music and Health Institute cannot come soon enough.”

Anyone wishing to join the Van Otterloo family in supporting these efforts can contact Davis Wimberly at +1 617-747-6944 or

This article appeared in our alumni magazine, Berklee Today Spring 2019. Learn more about Berklee Today.
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