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I Smile You Smile- We All Smile for the KEYS Program!

This is so EXCITING!!!!!!! At the KEYS program, we regularly have interns and student observers who join our program. We are so excited to introduce you to Jessie! Who was a music therapy student from Malloy College, who joined a few of our Music Therapists throughout the summer!

Enjoy a blog post to learn about the KEYS program, written by the one and only Jessie!!

"From music therapy sessions, music lessons, workshops and concerts, the KEYS Program has anything and everything you will need to fulfil your musical desires. Here at the KEYS Program, there is a wonderful staff of five certified music therapists that work with individuals (and groups!) of all ages, populations, abilities, and disabilities. Music therapy is available to those who are eager to work on their physical, emotional, and social skills through the creativity of music making.

Many people wonder what music therapy actually is. As stated by one of the KEYS Programs music therapists, Adrienne Bornemann, “Music Therapy, as defined by the American Music Therapy Association, is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Goals for individuals can be be emotionally based, physically based, socially based, or any other area of need one may be seeking to improve. Music can be a creative outlet for individuals looking to work towards their set goals and is accessible to individuals who may be nonverbal, hard of hearing or have visual impairments- meaning music can be used to connect with a larger variety of individuals than other forms of therapy! Individuals with little to no music background can benefit from music therapy, and musical knowledge is not needed to engage in music therapy sessions. (Team G.T.E, Good Therapy).

The KEYS Program offers a variety of music lessons to individuals who want to work on their music making skills. The skilled and talented music therapists at the KEYS Program offer lessons in areas of voice, piano, ukulele, guitar, violin, and many more options for those interested! These lessons are available to the public, and with Zoom, are offered for individuals all around the U.S.! Children battling cancer and their siblings receive lessons for free through the KEYS Program.

Along with music lessons, the KEYS crew took action in the summer of 2020, launching the summer songwriting project. Students got the opportunity to work alongside the wonderful music therapists at the KEYS Program to write and record their own written music!

Through the KEYS kids’ network and music toolkit, children who cannot have visitors can experience music right from their bedside! Musical outlets such as music videos, entertainment, and fun activities are located through the KEYS kids’ network to allow children to safely have access to music.

Many organizations and donors work with the KEYS Program to bring the gift of music to as many children as they can! The Ukulele Kids Club partnered with KEYS, donating 6 ukuleles for the KEYS kids! This opportunity allowed the KEYS Program to provide weekly ukulele lessons to the KEYS kids, bringing smiles to the children and their families.

The smiles don’t end with the ukulele club- as the KEYS Program continues to bring the gift of music through weekly smile concerts! Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, the KEYS crew made it possible to bring live music to the homes of KEYS kids! Every Monday night, the KEYS crew put together a live performance via Facebook Live for not only the KEYS kids to enjoy, but all the individuals watching from home! The KEYS Program helps personalize these experiences for the children by conducting a half hour meet and greet before the performance to allow the performer to meet the special kid of the night and their family! The smile concert experience lets kids feel like the VIPs they are!

So come one, come all! The KEYS Program has an opportunity for you to connect with yourself, with music, and with a community of individuals passionate about music and healing. All are invited to check out the many opportunities the KEYS community offers!"

**Blog post written by Jessie Davis, Student Music Therapist with the KEYS program, Summer 2021**

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