Blog Category: Inspirational

A Message From Our Founder

Founder’s Message

Meredith PizziI have always loved living in New England. I love seeing the snow coated trees glisten in the sun and the excitement the kids have when they hear those beloved New England words, “Snow Day.”  I also love the first warm mornings of springtime when you can go outside with a light jacket, or even the thrill of no jacket at all, after being bundled up for what seemed like an eternity! Then the warmth of the summer blankets us for a few months and I soak in all the Vitamin D I can! And then all of a sudden, the cool, crisp air of fall moves in and I take in the familiar smell of the autumn leaves. I really do love it all!

 

Reflecting On The Past 10 Years

Celebrating our 10th Anniversary this past year provided me with a similar opportunity to reflect back on the seasons of change in the journey of Roman Music Therapy Services. It really did start out with me and my car, driving from session to session. I began with services for two agencies when I moved to Massachusetts in 2006. Eventually I added Saturday morning sessions for individuals in my basement and an increasing number of clients and contracts.  Over time, the work load grew, and as I am not one to turn down a request for help, I began to expand our services by bringing on additional music therapists, first as contractors and then as employees.

Growing Roman Music Therapy Services to the organization that we are today has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life! The children and adults I have met and had the pleasure of working with, the music therapists I have trained and supervised, and the administrative support staff who have provided their skills and energies to our mission and vision have all played a part in the story of Roman Music Therapy Services. To everyone who has given me the opportunity over these past 10 years to be a better music therapist and a better person, I offer you my sincere thanks! I am honored and delighted to work with an incredible team of professionals, amazing families, service providers and clients to fulfill our mission every day!

10 year timeline

Making Music, Transforming Lives

As I walk into our new Music Therapy Center in Wakefield and I see our mission on the wall, I am filled with a sense of purpose and commitment each and every day! I know that music and my involvement in making music with others had a tremendous impact on my life’s course and my development as a person. I would not be who I am today if I hadn’t been the only girl trumpet player in school. I don’t remember the name of all of my childhood teachers, but I do remember the names of each and every music teacher I had, and I remember the hours I spent practicing to perfect my craft – to be the very best trumpet player I could be!  All State auditions and performances, playing in orchestras, jazz bands, marching bands and chamber ensembles gave me a voice, a community, a sense of belonging. Yes, I was that tall redhead in the back of the jazz band, dancing as I counted my rests or played my part, and taking my shoes off in rehearsals and performances to really feel the music!

With my parents’ support and encouragement, I followed my heart into a field that I knew had the capacity to change lives. I had no idea what it would look like, and believe me, neither did my parents! But that didn’t stop me from following my convictions and my call to making music part of everyone’s life.

Forging Connections Through Music

Today, our team of 12 employees at Roman Music Therapy Services is making this vision a reality each and every day. In our next 10 years, our dream is to expand opportunities for music making even further. We want ALL people to have the experience of community and belonging that comes with music making. It seems that too often, our daily lives pull us apart from the people around us. And even the way that we consume music with our headphones, we are missing the chance to come together as common people. At the end of the day, we are all humans – Human beings with beautiful and unique differences. And we are all humans who can share in the joy, fun, and community of music making.

I hope that you will continue to join us in this mission of bringing music to everyone!

If you are the new parent who feels isolated and stressed, or just feel like you have a lot to learn as a new parent, please come join us for a Sprouting Melodies class! For families with children with special needs, we are committed to providing community programming and specialized services to help build bridges and bring families together. We are here for you! For adults living and working in our communities who experience the challenges of physical or developmental disabilities, or struggles with pain, depression or isolation, we are here to open up new doors to communication, friendships, and learning, all through the joy of music making! And for our aging adults, we offer a way to communicate, reflect on the past, and participate with others in a way that brings meaning, joy and purpose to our daily lives.

As we expand our community offerings to bring people together to make music, we hope that you will look for and take advantage of our intergenerational music making events. We truly believe that by focusing on the goals of shared joy and experiencing community through music making, we can help transform lives and communities to be the very best that we can be!

 

 

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Don’t Forget The Holiday Magic

Happy Holidays!

Well, the Halloween candy is long gone, and so is our beautiful fall foliage!holiday snow

Thanksgiving seems simultaneously as though it was long ago and just yesterday. Suddenly it is the first day of winter!

However you choose to celebrate, chances are your holiday is just within sight. During the frenzy of the holidays, we often forget to enjoy ourselves and those dear to us. This year, try to carve out time to make some music with your family and absorb the beauty and magic of the season.

Wherever your travels take you this holiday

We at Roman Music Therapy Services are so grateful to all of you and we wish you and your family the very best, today and always. Happy Holidays!

From Meredith, Nichole, Annette, Amadee, Alison, Jennifer, Kathy, Katie, Laetitia, Mary, Patty, and Steven!

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My Own Voice Choir Group At Our 10/1/16 Anniversary Celebration

Our 10th Anniversary Celebration is only a few days away!

Our lunch menu is ordered, our drums and maracas are packed up and our voices are ready!

Be sure you’ve registered to reserve your spot.   

We are so pleased to announce some special guests who will be joining us on Saturday to perform for you!

My Own Voice

Part of the Treble Chorus New England, My Own Voice was launched in 2011 as a pilot program. Its intent was to provide choral opportunities to children and young adults with special needs. My Own Voice participants receive mentoring during their rehearsals from performers of other area choirs.

The program, targeted for individuals with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities or impairments, started with four members and has grown to over 50 members! Performers from the choir are from Methuen, Haverhill, North Andover, Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Peabody and Middleton.

Photo credit: Tim Jean, The Andover Townsman Staff From left Angelina, 16, William and twin sister Francesca, 14

Their unique model has proven overwhelmingly successful. My Own Voice is unique; there are no other after-school music programs for children with special needs like this one! The group founder, Bernadette Lionetta, envisions sustained growth over the coming months and years. Please contact Bernadette BLionetta9@verizon.net. if you know anyone who enjoys singing choral music and might be interested in joining the group.

Make sure to register for the event so that you too can enjoy My Own Voice’s performance! We look forward to seeing you on October 1st. And to making music with you into the future!

If you have any questions about the event or ambassadorship, please contact the office at 781-665-0700.

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Veterans and the Power of Music

by: Laetitia Brundage, MT-BC

A Time to Reflect

As we come closer to Memorial Day, I often think about those incredibly brave individuals who have lost their lives in order to help protect our freedom. They made the ultimate sacrifice to help us preserve the liberties we often take for granted. There are many men and women returning to civilian life burdened and battered by the trauma of war. Their families also feel the psychological effects of having a loved one on in battle.

I think of this and I wonder, “What can I do to show my appreciation? How can I help?”

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And then a new partnership presented itself, giving me the chance to give back! For the past several months, I have had the incredible opportunity to help out many post-combat veterans through what I know best, music! With a team of music therapists from Roman Music Therapy Services, I have been able to act in support of a new clinical program called “Home Base.”

Dedicated to Healing

Home Base is a program run through Massachusetts General Hospital (M.G.H.) and the Red Sox Foundation. It involves an intensive 2-week clinical program to help post-combat veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI(Traumatic Brain Injury) and other psychological disorders brought on by their experiences. The range and intensity of therapies and interventions in this program are vast. Music was brought on board to help transition the veterans and their families into the program.

By leading two group drumming experiences per clinical period, we have been able to help promote community by building trust and camaraderie among the veterans, families and staff members. Simultaneously, we are working to reduce the anxiety and stress related to being part of such a program. Since February of this year, we have served 30 veterans, 21 family members and 6 staff members.

Serving Veterans and Families

At the end of each drum circle, we invite the group members to provide us with their reflections on the experience by writing them down on index cards. The following quotes are from the veterans and their family members:

  • “Cohesive; Barrier crossing”
  • “Total transformation of everyone’s attitude. Everyone was closer and more open.”
  • “This was a powerful way to see how we (strangers) can work together.”
  • “This was a great way to bring the group together right off the bat. Perfect icebreaker. Also really nice to play some music again.”
  • “Fun! Great way to get to know each other. Fun to watch other people have fun.”
  • “Nice to be able to share a side with family that isn’t all gloom and doom.”

While our contribution to the overall treatment plan could be considered small, the feedback from those experiencing these musical moments shows that it provides an essential amount of balance and relief during their strenuous journeys. As far as I’m concerned, I am honored to provide a service that can bring smiles and laughter to people that are fighting and coping with a very real and difficult battle everyday.

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Why We Love Repetition in Music

As music therapists,  we use music to help people with varying needs access their full potential and grow through the music. Some of the benefits of using music are that it is motivating and can help to stimulate and focus a person’s attention. This is in part due to the repetitious nature of music.

In this video, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis talks about the “exposure effect” and how repetition invites us in to participate in the music instead of just passively listening.

Thank you, Kristina Rio, for sharing this interesting and thought-provoking TED Talk!

We can share the benefits of music therapy with your team, group or organization. If you are interested in a participatory music event, review our website for ideas.

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Positive Post-It!

I’m Rubber You’re Glue…

positive post it

Remember the saying, “I’m rubber your glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you” ? You could hear it in the school yard, a way to turn around someone’s unkind words and brush off insults. What if positive words stuck as easily as negative?

This month we had a positive post it note party to celebrate our team and pass some sunshine around. Continue reading

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