Joseph was in his mid-thirties when he came to Melodic Connections. His social workers were concerned that Joseph might be slipping through the cracks. He had recently been laid off from his job. He rarely ventured out from his Over-the-Rhine apartment for fear of getting into fights or into trouble with the police. In his personal life, he often found himself taken advantage of and sometimes even victimized by those who were supposed to be caring for him. Kind to a fault, he would even give away his paycheck. He spent most of his time as a recluse in his small apartment, reaching out to few, experiencing little.
Joseph’s social worker had been trying to get him to become more of a self advocate and stand up for his own needs. Joseph’s assigned care giver was not a good match for him, and she knew he could be living a richer, fuller life. He needed someone who would go out in to the community with him, take him to movies, and be a better friend to him. But Joseph would say, “Everything’s fine. This is the person I was given.”
Then, his social worker discovered that Joseph had been an accomplished drummer in high school, but hadn’t played in years because he had no access to a drum set. She thought, “If I can get him involved in music again, maybe it would spark some changes.” What happened next surprised everyone.
When he sat down at the drums at Melodic Connections, all of his skills came back. In classes at our conservatory he improved his skills and technique and decided he was ready to play in front of audiences. After two concerts at Melodic Connections, he called his social worker and said, “I think it’s time for me to ask for another care giver.” “The only thing I could think,” his social worker said, “was this is from the increased self esteem that has come from working with Melodic Connections. That was the only thing that had changed,” she said.
Today, Joseph frequently gets compliments from his friends about his music and his talents. He gets out more, attending weekly classes, making friends and playing in concerts.. “He is becoming a greater person, a stronger man,” his social worker said. “It was music that made the difference.”