Rattlin’ and Rollin’ at Summer Music TherapyAugust 2, 2018
By: Sarah Mirkhaef
The Pujols Family Foundation constructs an atmosphere of support and inclusion through programs and annual events. I have had the privilege to attend some of these events throughout my time as an intern, and each one has continuously exceeded expectations. As a result, I would like to share my experience at the Rattle & Roll Music Therapy Class at Maryville University. Before attending the class, I had heard descriptions and excellent reviews regarding the benefits and apparent outcomes; however, simply hearing about this event is not enough. It is by attending and interacting with the children and parents that I was able to process the level of influence that this form of therapy has on cognitive development and expression.
When I walked into the room, the families were sitting in a circle around Cara, the instructor. Cara was incredibly hospitable and noticeably dedicated to the children and the families. The class started off with a personalized welcoming song, which set the mood and vibe for the class. Initially, some of the kids were running and climbing around, but once the song started the children’s behavior noticeably changed. Enjoyment and excitement were blatantly apparent in their facial and bodily expressions. The clapping and laughing continued through the class as various instruments and colored cloths were introduced. All of these mechanisms combined noticeably improved their mood, understanding, and connection with other kids. At the end of the class, there was a farewell song, personalized to each student. It tied the class together in a fun, original way. The effects did not diminish once the class finished; the demeanor of the children improved as they were more relaxed, in tune with their surroundings, and overall happier.
All of the events that this foundation puts forth are exceptional with lasting effects but, for me, music therapy was an outstanding experience. It is a result of the love and senses shared that brings joy and laughter to these children.
For more information on how to get involved in Rattle & Roll (children’s) or Rhythm of Life (adult’s) music therapy, contact Jen Teemer at email@example.com.