Adults in Melodic Connections Adult Day program arrive and 9:00 a.m. and leave at 3:00, which means lunch is part of our day. Soon after Michelle joined our program, we discovered she really wanted a hot lunch, but was hesitant to use the microwave, and lacked the confidence to try. So we got creative. One of our music therapists put red and green stickers on the microwave and told her it was just like stoplights. Still, she balked. “Why?” we wondered? Michelle had no difficulty matching colors in guitar class and she could count the number of beats in a measure. She only needed to translate her new-found music skills into life skills. We explained that using the microwave is no different than matching numbers and pushing the appropriate color, just like guitar class. Within a week she was enjoying a hot lunch and volunteering to microwave other people’s food.
We’ve watched Michelle grow in confidence at Melodic Connections. Michelle wanted to play the piano, but was hesitant because her sister plays, and she was comparing herself to her sister’s level of performance. Michelle was soon in adapted lessons, and has learned that she has her own gifts at the keyboard. She also plays guitar, drums and is learning vocal technique. In addition, she regularly performs with our ensemble in front of hundreds of people.
What other life skills await Michelle? She has expressed her life-long desire to learn to read. The skills she has gained at Melodic Connections have given her the confidence to try. She has a true love of language, and is always asking you the meaning of a word you have said, and she always has a book in tow. We can’t wait for the day that she takes the music and reads the lyrics to us!