Story Time with Music and Art Therapy!

One of our favorite parts of Facebook live interviews is Story Time. Today we share stories from that section from two individuals. The first one tells us about Flying Horse Farms and how their music program has allowed for some beautiful moments of connection and growth. And the second one is Gina Roell, art therapist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She relates a few stories from her work at the hospital. Hope you enjoy this story time!

Flying Horse Farms – Alexa Donner

“We talked about how we have opening camp fire, which is where our staff and counselors are encouraged to perform songs and skits. During the summer we also offer a closing camp fire. At the very end of the week we encourage our campers to perform and so each week it’s just an incredible transformation and an incredible opportunity to watch that transformation as campers who are really nervous and didn’t know each other’s names on night one all of a sudden become this family at the end of the week.

And so, with closing campfire we have the opportunity to really watch as campers come out of their shell and perform for the first time in front of everybody. We’ve had quite a few campers that because of the ukuleles that we have and the instruments we have they’ve put together performances and have asked their cabin mates to be backup. And they have had the opportunity to sing for the first time in front of a group and feel confident enough to do that. I think that’s just so spectacular and special.

A Special Performance

One of my favorite performances that I’ve seen is our ranger group which is our group from 16 and 17 year-old campers. They are our oldest campers at any given time and really feel the weight of being role models for the rest of the camp. And so, they kind of feel like they have to really outdo themselves and perform better year after year. They are usually our closing act of campfire. And this one performance, it started with just one ranger playing the ukulele softly. And as she began to sing other rangers started standing up out of the crowd that was sitting at campfire. They had candles in hand and started to make their way towards the stage and they sang the song Rise Up.

I get goosebumps just thinking about it. It was just this beautiful moment where they all came together to sing the song and they had bongos, they had ukuleles. The camper who was singing it had taught a couple other people how to play ukulele that week. It was growth and learning opportunity where campers can teach other campers how to play ukulele or just give them the confidence to start for the first time. So it’s been really special to watch.”

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Gina Roell – CCHMC

“I have a teenage patient at Cincinnati Children’s. He wanted to do art but he wasn’t sure so I thought “Oh, you know, I’ve got this computer program that you can use to design.” He was interested in making a T-shirt. I’m like, “Oh wait! I’ve got this thing where you can design it, you can make it.” And so he showed his strength and how he’s gonna kick cancer’s butt by making his own T-shirt design using the Cricket. So that’s one thing that we used a little bit of a story with it.

“Also with this Cricket this one kid wanted to make his own rock band T-shirt. He design his own. He was working with the music therapist and she had mentioned, “he wants to start this rock band, he’s got a name and everything.” I’m like, “Oh, I need to go see this kid.” So he decided to make his own rock band T-shirt. Just some fun things we are so appreciative of…”

I Can See More Patients Thanks to Sam’s Fans!

There’s this little girl I met with this week. She had been in the hospital and – this is why I’m so appreciative of the extra 8 hours. She said “why haven’t I seen you before? We love art! Why haven’t I seen you” I’m like “I’m so sorry, I’m really glad I get to see you now. Now I get to be here longer so I get to see more kids.” And oh gosh, her face lit up. “Yes, yes, come on in! Let’s do some art.”

So I brought in some painting to her. This was my first session with her so just a get-to-know-you kind of session. Her parents were both in the room. She said “I wanna paint a monkey today!” So at first the dad was like “Oh, why don’t you paint it for her.” But I took her step by step and she did it all by herself and oh my goodness, the look on her face, the pride that she felt in this painting that she created by herself and then the pride in the parents’ face. “Wow, she really did do this.” Amazing.

I mean, it was the very first session. You could just feel the joy in the room. So we’re talking and educating them about art therapy and what I do and I’m looking forward to the next time I get to spend time with her. But as I’m leaving she is not just saying thank you, she is, you can read it in her eyes and her voice, and she must’ve said thank you, screamed thank you, fifteen times. You felt that thanks. “Thank you for being here with me and bringing me this modality that helps me communicate and speak and experience joy.”

Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed today’s story time! And we have so many more stories, be on the look out!

L. Samuel Gracida

L. Samuel Gracida

Samuel is Sam's Fans Operating Director and our primary blogger!

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