Community Music Therapy to Community Theatre

Q & A for Jaime before we dive in…

  • Was I a musical theatre kid?
    • No… I wish though! I did play flute and piccolo in the pit orchestras in high school.
  • Have I always loved musical theatre?
    • Yes! I remember singing with the Annie soundtrack on record player in our family room while jumping on a small trampoline as a child. Then I was introduced to RENT by my high school friend (you know, the one with THE car). We would drive all over town singing this full 2-CD disc soundtrack at the top of our lungs. I still know EVERY WORD!
  • Have I performed in musicals?
  • What sparked this blog post?
    • I’m returning to the stage for my first full musical production with Center Stage Jackson to perform in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with my two daughters. My oldest daughter is performing one of the lead roles, Jemima. I just LOVE watching her in her element on stage! I’m pretty sure she may have been born for this kind of energy! Who will I be in the show? If you know Chitty Chitty at all, here is a hint… My character is opposite of me in real life. In real life, I love and work with hundreds of children. In this show, I DESPISE children and actually employ a “Childcatcher” to patrol the streets to get rid of them! It’s a lot of fun to play a villain!
  • When and where is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Bridging the Gap: From Community Music Therapy to Community Theatre

As a Board-Certified Music Therapist and business owner, I’ve almost always kept my professional and performing lives in separate lanes. Yet recently, I’ve felt a deep calling to merge these seemingly separate worlds. This will help me in being more transparent with my audience and clientele about how music also shapes my own life experiences. To share my own personal journey as a Jackson, Michigan community member, entrepreneur, and professional musician. This perspective change not only resonates with my current journey, but also resonates with the shared healing essence of music and the arts.

A Harmony of Professions:

As a business owner and a local performer, I’ve often felt like I’m living two separate lives. One revolves around the healing work provided as a service at Harmony Garden Music Therapy Services, with a focus on clinical music therapy. The other is my passion for performing, finding enjoyment in pushing boundaries of artistic expression. These two worlds have been running parallel with little overlap, which hasn’t felt authentic. While there is a line not to be crossed as a therapist with clients, I’m finding that as I step into a new role with my company that this space may be more welcome. I’ve discovered that when the spotlight shifts to a community music therapy approach, there’s a new space that allows me to showcase my work and intersect my professional and personal performance life in a meaningful way. It’s a transition that’s bringing a new richness to my existence.

Family on Stage:

What is it that I’m writing about exactly? Great question! Recently my two daughters were cast in a local community theatre production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Center Stage Jackson. My oldest daughter is the character Jemima, one of the two child lead roles! My youngest has joined the ensemble and has one line that she is so proud of! I decided to join them as a member of the ensemble. However, a few weeks in to rehearsing one of the members of the cast had to leave the production due to a new job out of state. This gave me an opportunity to step into one of the more prominent roles… And, boy, am I having a lot of FUN! Within this journey, I’ve discovered a deeper family bond by performing alongside my two daughters. This shared passion has brought us closer, and our connection grows with each rehearsal and performance. I’m totally here for this journey!

The Healing Connection:

As a mother, I’ve come to appreciate how the arts; whether in music therapy, music performance, community theatre, and more, posses a remarkable capacity to nurture and mend. Inspiring not only the audience but the performer too. In this journey, I want to speak on how the arts can serve as a vehicle for promoting collective well-being and happiness in any community.

A Harmonious Merge:

The convergence of my life with community theatre has revealed that life paths are not divergent but harmonious. Both my music therapy profession and community theatre are dedicated to bringing people together and promoting self-expansion. By embracing this, I’m excited to serve myself, my family, and my community more effectively.

In essence, I, as a music therapist who also owns a business, am discovering the beauty of uniting my healing work with my love for performing. It’s not about keeping two lives separate but about creating a richer tapestry where the healing essence of music takes center stage (see what I did there – Center Stage…). The spotlight beckons, and a world of possibilities awaits.