About Karen Johnson

Can a former police officer succeed in a new career as a late-blooming musician, specializing in therapeutic, or healing, music? The answer is a resounding “yes,” and her background makes for interesting (and hopefully inspiring) reading.

Karen has an eclectic mix of formal education and life experience. After studying at both Plymouth State College (N.H.) and University of N.H., Durham, she worked with animals in the veterinary field and as an animal control officer. That led to becoming certified as a police officer, first in Eliot, Maine and then in Portsmouth, N.H., where she was a patrolman for a total of 18 years.

During those years, Karen was adept at “community policing” and public-speaking presentations. These ranged from Rotary Club, to public schools, to law-enforcement education at community college. A ” window of opportunity” opened when she began volunteering at a local nursing home, playing clarinet and accompanied by her first greyhound, Misty. That experience (which she and various later greyhounds continued for three years) was the turning point in a career that had come to a definite fork in the road.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not be one traveler and travel both…I chose the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Since December of 1999, Karen has played as a professional clarinetist for countless numbers of patients and residents of nursing homes; especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In 2002, Karen became certified as a music practitioner, on clarinet, through the Music for Healing and Transition Program, a national education program for training musicians in the use of healing bedside music. She has presented educational programs on healing music and healing dogs to Barrington, N.H. Middle School, Catholic Medical Center Wellness Program, Manchester, N.H., and Camp Calumet Retreat Center in Ossipee, N.H., to name a just a few. Karen is available for therapeutic music offerings and presentations tailored to the needs of interested groups. Let us know if we can assist you! For a complete packet of information, write, call orĀ email.