LISBON -- United Helpers "Wish Book" program has been bringing musical therapy to residents at Mosiac's Lisbon Intermediate Care Facility.
The initiative began with Dr. Michael Sitton, Dean of the Crane School of Music and Mark Martin, Assistant Program manager at Mosaic’s Lisbon ICF.
The pair recognized the value of music and wanted to bring an interactive program to the residents.
Using the "Wish Book" program, they enlisted the help of music therapist Tracey Wanamaker who recently performed a session for the residents.
The session begins with the “Hello” song, as Wanamaker moves from one person to the next, kneeling down closely and connecting with each participant, making eye contact with each while singing and softly strumming her acoustic guitar. The next song offers a slightly quicker tempo, as she encourages everyone to stretch and reach, stamp their feet and move their bodies.
Next, Wanamaker pulls out a big drum and encourages each person to “beat that drum” Clearly the group is excited about the opportunity to solo, as she moves around the room and calls out each person’s name, while offering the drum for their individual performance.
“It is amazing to see the transformation as soon as Tracey walks in the door,” says Gisele Groulx, Activities Leader for Mosaic. “The smiles, the clapping and encouraging each other, it’s very contagious.”
Wanamaker also distributes musical instruments to each participant and provides cues for when to play their instrument and when to rest. A parachute is used to demonstrate differences in tempo, as she instructs participants to shake the parachute slowly for slower tempos and to increase as tempo increases.
“Everyone looks forward to Tracy’s visits,” Groulx said.
The Wish Book program is provided by the Society of the United Helpers and offers loved ones, family members and friends of the United Helpers organization the opportunity to help grant a facility wish. Wish Books consist of a list of items compiled by administration, staff and residents.
Donors simply browse the book and choose which item they would like to sponsor. Anyone with an idea for an item that isn’t yet in the Wish Books should call 393-3074 extension 230 or visit www.unitedhelpers.org.