Friday, January 16, 2009

Reaching Out

The live radio broadcast last Friday morning went well. My colleague Nina Guerrero and I were questioned at length by Dr. Alexandra Barzvi and Dr. Jerome Bubrick of the NYU Child Study Center on a number of topics: the Nordoff-Robbins approach to music therapy; how music therapy helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorders communicate; the Center's current research, and more. We played three brief audio excerpts of Clive and Paul's work with a young boy back in the 1960s, which dramatically illustrated how music therapy can engage children and elicit beginning speech. I shared several anecdotes of clinical work to help make the work accessible to listeners. We have received much positive feedback from the program, and one listener, who is considering studying music therapy, has already visited the Center to learn more about our work.

Yesterday we received a letter in the mail from a sixth grader in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Here are some of her comments:

I believe you are a wonderful foundation... Helping disabled people is wonderful, and music is the best way to do this. It is fun, entertaining, and helpful, all at the same time...It is amazing that you can make these people so happy and excited. Just being able to teach people who may have a hard time with other things, how to play an instrument is great...I'm sure people love coming to you. Continue with this it is the best thing you could possibly do.

After working at the Center for 19 years (and in the field for many years before that), I find it refreshing to see the work anew through someone else's eyes. It reminds me of the power and uniqueness of music therapy, and of music itself. It is gratifying to know that we have touched this young girl's life. She ends her letter saying, When I am eighteen I might try to acquire the skills to work for your organization. I love helping people any way possible. Thank you for doing what you do to make these peoples lives so much better...

Peace and Harmony,

1 comment:

John Martin said...

Thanks for sharing that email. We cannot be reminded too frequently how music therapy enhances so many lives. I'm looking forward for more tales of your day to day experiences.