Story by Ellen Rayfield
For many individuals expression and communication is an obstacle to improved quality of life as well as connection to others. Music is a way for our individuals to develop that connection, through creative expression, socialization skills, and sensory integration.
Other goals may be addressing losses and coping with anxiety and depression. Many think that all I do is play music and sing, but there is so much more to it than that. Individuals interact with me and with others through playing instruments, singing, writing their own song lyrics, and creating playlists to help with relaxation. With specific treatment goals related to the strengths and deficits of our individuals, music therapy provides a way to meet those goals that would otherwise not be attainable.
For some, music is the only way they are able to connect, just like some can only engage through dance or the visual arts. Many of our individuals use all the creative arts to work on their treatment goals. Over the last 6 years of working in the Life Balance Department, I have seen individuals have remarkable engagement through musical experiences.