LOGAN – Thanks to a generous donation by BJ and Emily Smith and their Sugar Smooth Company to Cache Employment and Training Center, their music enrichment program was reignited.
Music Therapy is a perfect fit to help people with disabilities fine-tune their motor skills, develop confidence, encourage teamwork, improve memory, and provide a necessary emotional outlet for their clients.
Music teacher Lisa Earl enthusiastically engages clients and gains their confidence as she gets them to participate in a wide range of activities.
“When I started, I had some clients who wouldn’t pick up their instruments, but now when they see me, they get excited,” Earl said. “I’ve seen clients who didn’t talk become vocal, some have increased their strength and music through the program.”
The music program has taken off under Earl’s guidance. She said everyone enjoys music. Music can reach us in ways that other things can’t.
“Once they’ve had a good musical experience they interact with others with more confidence,” Earl said. “There are a lot of classes teaching different skills at CETC, but music brings them joy and fulfilment in ways the other classes can’t.”
BJ and Emily Smith saw the growth music made for their son and felt like it would benefit others in the same way. So they made a donation from their Sugar Me Smooth company to enable CETC to rebuild their music enrichment program and fund the youth Summer Program.
“Our son Carson is in the program and we’re trying to build awareness for those with special needs because they are the most underserved in the community,” he said. “With all of the funding cuts they’re the population that should be put first because they have the least control of their situation.”
Kayla Allen, the summer program coordinator, was grateful for the donation that will continue to fund their music projects.
“This donation has paid for a new whiteboard, a reading corner that has a book display, bean bag chairs and organizers for staff to put their stuff,” Allen said. “Every client gets their own bin.”
CETC Executive Director Sandy Smith has seen growth in the clients since they reinvigorated the music therapy in their mix of skill instruction.
“They’re learning how to read music. I’ve seen clients who had music therapy years before remember it and picked back up on it,” the executive director said. “Some of our clients have even gone on to buy their own instruments and use them at home. It helps sensory wise; a lot of kids love music and thrive off music.”
Last month the clients at CETC produced the play, Cinderella, and invited friends and family to watch it as part of their Summer Program. It was a real success and one they plan to duplicate.
There is a great future for the Music Enrichment Program at the facility. Sandy sees the program benefiting the individuals at CETC. It helps them get out of their shells, open up and express themselves.
With the help of people like the Smiths, the Music Enrichment Program will continue to hone clients’ sensory skills and help them come alive with music.