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Reaching for the Stars through Music Therapy

Our Music Therapy group continues to prosper, giving the individuals we support more independence and the opportunity to build on their cognitive skills.

If you’re lucky enough, you can catch the beat of a guitar, hums from the singing, or a tambourine ringing from the windows of the English House. Our Music Therapy group gathers three times a month for  a fun, intellectual session—bringing individuals from several of our group homes together. Thanks to our participation in several fundraisers throughout the year, individuals from several of our homes can look forward to their weekly “jam session.”

Through the use of music, the individuals are able to sing, move to music, play instruments, and listen to music in a fun and safe environment. We’ve worked with Singing Heart in Stillwater for many years now, long enough that our individuals call our music therapists Katie and Jasmine their friends.

“I love being independent playing the symbols and singing,” said Ted Farrar, an individual who attends Music Therapy, while friend Sandy Calhoun loves singing some of the oldies.     

As Katie works with the individuals, she also assesses their well-being and cognitive skills. The goal of these sessions is not to teach someone how to play an instrument or sing, but rather it’s a tool to work on non-musical goals, such as enhancing memory, improving communication, or promoting physical rehabilitation. Through this, the individuals also increase their interactions with peers, improve eye contact, and help lead activities.

“From week-to-week, it is amazing to see individuals progress in the therapy process as they become more expressive and take more risks, like singing in front of others or trying a new instrument,” said Program Manager Diane Berg of the English House.

By engaging in music therapy, our individuals have a voice to safely express themselves, feel connected and supported by their peers, and build upon their strengths. Music therapy brings so much joy and happiness to those we serve and provides an invaluable tool for them to reach their goals. Thank you to everyone who helps make this happen!