It warms my heart to think about the many people we have worked with over the past 6 years. To know that we have made and continue to make an important difference in the lives of our clients with music therapy is what keeps us going strong year after year!
It has been a challenging couple of years for all business owners throughout the pandemic and we were no exception here at MMT. However, when I look back at this year I feel proud with what we have done to continue to advocate for our clients throughout the pandemic. I feel especially proud of our staff who have persevered through singing through a mask and a face shield all day and switching to virtual services in order to continue to meet their clients therapeutic goals. They haven't skipped a beat!
Below are 6 highlights from our 6th year at MMT:
Highlight #1: Getting The Word Out There!
Our purpose at Miya Music Therapy is to empower and enrich lives through music therapy - this is something we can't do if the public isn't first educated on what music therapy is. We made it part of our plan over the last year to spread the word about the benefits of music therapy. With the difficulties our elder care clients faced during the pandemic we felt it was more important than ever to spread the word. It was such a blast to be a part of these interview and media experiences and speak about my passion! Some examples over the last year include:
The Toronto Sun: 'Helping Seniors Endure the Pandemic with Music' - Kevin Connor
I also had an incredible time being part of the TVO Show Employable Me where I worked with a young man with autism and helped him to discover how his musical skills could translate to his career pursuits.
Highlight #2 The Sunshine Link!
Something that really stands out to me over the last year is when we created The Sunshine Link. Several of our community partners were unable to have us back in person for quite a while during the pandemic and were also not able to utilize our virtual services. Our hearts went out to the seniors living in these care facilities and we wanted to ensure that we could provide them with some meaningful activities even while our services were on hold. Our goal was to initiate a fundraiser so that we could rent production space and create high quality recorded activities. We were able to raise enough funds to create 10 recorded activities thanks to the generosity of members of the community. These recorded activities included 'Name That Tune', 'Music & Movement', 'Around the World' and more. We sent these out free of charge to senior care facilities to use with their residents.
They can still be accessed here: www.thesunshinelink.com
I hope these recordings helped to brighten someone's days during this challenging year.
Highlight #3. Presentations & Consulting!
I loved having the opportunity to provide presentations and consulting services over the last year of MMT. One that really stands out to me was providing consulting services for a group of young musicians who are a part of an organization called Students for Music & Wellness. They took on an initiative to provide music activities and concerts for those living in senior care facilities during the pandemic. Their organizer reached out to MMT so that their students could learn about how to use music safely and ethically with seniors from a certified music therapist
Highlight #4. Got Talent Performance!
At some of our long-term care community partners we host a 'Got Talent' performance once or twice per year. This gives residents who benefit from performing the opportunity to showcase their musical abilities in front of their friends, family members, and LTC staff. The staff members often get involved as well and it is just a wonderful way to bring everyone together! This year, one of our music therapists, Robin Soper, had to get creative with the talent show due to Covid restrictions. She put together an incredible video of staff and residents dancing, singing, drumming, and playing piano. She then showed the video recording to small groups at a time on each floor in order to follow group size protocols.
Highlight #5. Getting Back to In-Person Services!
Although we have been so grateful that our clients have been able to access our services virtually throughout the pandemic, we have all been itching to get back to in-person work and see our clients face-to-face. In the last few months we have been able to join many of our community partners in person again and it has been an absoloute joy and pleasure to see them again!
Highlight #6. Welcoming New Team Members & Supporting One Another!
In our 6th year of practice our team has grown quite a bit! Every new music therapist has added something so special to our team. We have enjoyed many moments together throughout the year through our monthly meetings, intervention swaps, professional development events, and peer supervision. There is nothing quite like having a supportive and encouraging team that is dedicated to providing quality care for our clients!
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the last year and throughout the last 6 years! We are lucky to have such a wonderful community of clients, supporters, friends, and advocates.