Last fall, Paul’s Run launched Harmonies of the Heart, a comprehensive initiative that is bringing the joy of music to all residents.
Jeri Iacono, a music therapist who spearheads the program, assesses residents’ musical history and preferences and pairs each with activities that inspire happiness and success through music.
Now, according to Jeri, it isn’t rare to see residents rejoice in making music, even those who were sure their voices or hands would not cooperate. “For some residents, they’re coming back to something they love. For others, it’s something new–they’re learning to read music or play bells.”
The robust menu of musical opportunities includes dynamic group activities like chorus, bell choir, and drum circle. And now, to Jeri’s delight, even private music instruction. Since the launch of Harmonies of the Heart, residents continue to steadily gain confidence in their joy of making music and several have stepped forward requesting individual lessons in voice or piano.
The confidence and gratification resulting from Harmonies of the Heart is pervasive. “Members of our chorus are now asking to sing in parts instead of all singing the melody. Family members are now regularly asking about the program and eagerly encouraging their loved ones to participate,” says Jeri.
In the months ahead, Jeri expects that many residents will have built the skills and assurance to engage in their own delightful expression of music through improvisation. “We want to empower residents to create their own joyous music and rhythm.”