PORTLAND, Maine —

Maine Music & Health has advanced as a semifinalist in the UPS Store, Inc.’s “Small Biz Challenge.” 

"I figured, 'this is a shot in the dark, might as well try,'" said founder Kate Beever on why she decided to apply for the national contest.

The UPS Pressroom says over 1,700 online applications were submitted to the "Small Biz Challenge" and just 10 have made the cut. From now until June 30, you have the chance to vote for Beever through an online poll.

Beever's inspiration for music therapy started as a ninth grade research project. That dream became reality when she got her master's degree in music psychotherapy from New York University and eventually started her own practice called Maine Music & Health in Portland, Maine.

Now, Beever spends her days at Maine hospitals and patient homes to provide both rehabilitative services for people with illnesses and disabilities, and training for other healthcare professionals. Her sessions include "listening and lyric discussion, improvisation, relaxation and breathing techniques, vocal toning, adaptive lessons, movement, imagery, songwriting," and more.

"I'm always trying to get them engaged in music-making," Beever said.

Kate Beever, founder of Maine Music & Health
Beever uses a wide range of instruments and musical techniques to bridge the gap between healthcare and artistic expression for those living with illnesses and disabilities.
Photo by Will, of Wholer Co. Photography

Perhaps what separated Beever's business from the rest, is her focus on interpersonal impact and local support rather than money-making. 

"I think it's important to give back to your community and stick to your values," Beever said.

Six "small biz" finalists will be announced in early July and must compete in a game show-style event held in either Los Angeles or New York City. One of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” investors, Robert Herjavec, will judge the finalists and select a winner with a grand prize of $25,000 and an editorial feature in Inc. magazine.

Although she thinks the contest is "a good learning experience," regardless of the outcome, Beever has big goals for the prize money. 

With $25,000, she'd be able to create more therapy training materials, such as a book, fellowship program and add to a scholarship fund for students interested in the field.

Check out Beever's competitors and give her a vote to help a small Maine business make a big difference!

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