Singing, dancing and clapping drowns out the sounds of the church bells weekly at St. Patrick's Church in Rockville. Joy fills the room as our adults excitedly learn and try out new instruments from different parts of the world, listen to the sounds they make and realize how music makes their bodies feel.
The fall session of Rhythm, Blues and Beyond started with a bang this fall, with attendance bursting at the seams. I've watched the members share a range of emotions as they listen to and make music from all genres including soul, funk, rock and much more. We've heard members, who struggle to speak, put lyrics together to the roaring applause of their classmates. They've become family and bond freely.
During a recent class, Levine School Music Therapist Emily Bruestle, MM, MT-BC, and our volunteer Marianne Greene, noticed the music was pulling one member in particular into the moment. L was happy and smiling as he clapped, hummed and moved to the music.
As class came to a close, Ms. Bruestle chose a calmer song to end the day. Everyone communicated their farewells as they locked eyes and waved to their their friends across the room. But one particular member just didn't want the class to end. Tears streamed down his face as he realized the end of class was near.
This member's mother told me her son struggles with the finality of good-bye's, since the family moved here and had to make that huge adjustment. Regardless, something in the music stirred his soul and we are so proud to be making such a difference in the lives of those we serve.
We could not impact so many lives without the support of so many wonderful families, corporations and county support.