Hey everyone, it’s Kara Lewis. I have had the pleasure of leading Day Program for almost two years now – and in two years I have learned so much from each of the participants, especially during this quarantine. When we had to cancel in-person Day Program, I was worried that telehealth wouldn’t have the same music, socialization,
To anyone who may not know, our Day Program is a weekly three-hour music therapy program. The first hour we have group music therapy, the second hour we take a brain break and do a craft, and then the last hour we play lots of musical games. The outline of our sessions, the group day and time, and so many other factors of Day Program are structured in routine and familiarity. Obviously, the past two months have provided unforeseen opportunities for growth from all – me included!
The Day Program participants have amazed me in their flexibility and willingness to adapt to making music online. We meet for one hour on Google Meet and jam out as best we can. For some this means, singing loud and proud, for others, it means rocking out on their drum set, and even others, it means they can follow along to the movements in the comfort of their home. The music never left.
Each week, the participants join the Google Meet and immediately greet each other by name, asking how everyone’s week was, and independently initiating conversation. Honestly, some of the participants remember holidays better than I do! This past week one of the participants wished everyone a happy holiday weekend and I actually had to go look up what holiday was happening because I had FORGOTTEN Memorial Day! Their love for each other and socialization never left.
We have had the opportunity to record a couple different videos to share with the world: A small snippet of “Count on Me” and the full song “Don’t Give Up On Me”. In both of these videos, we had to use teamwork, patience, shared-music making, turn-taking, listening and watching for cues, and learning ASL signs. Day Program is always willing to dig deep, accomplish big tasks, and target those non-musical goals. The music therapy never left.
So I invite you to watch these videos that our Day Program participants worked so hard on. I think you’ll be amazed at the things they have accomplished the past two months from the safety of their own homes.