Summer Day Campers Enjoy the Gift of Music Therapy
Date posted: August 22, 2019Children and teens with disabilities enjoyed the gift of music in Stepping Stones’ Summer Day Camp music therapy program.
Sponsored by Terri Hogan and Contemporary Cabinetry East, the camp program addition united Stepping Stones with Melodic Connections. The partnership was a perfect fit, bringing together two nonprofits who are both dedicated to serving individuals of all ages and abilities in Greater Cincinnati.
“Music is so important for everyone, especially those with challenges,” said Terri Hogan. “I see first hand how the staff at Melodic Connections engages with those that attend there. They are a blessing for all and we are very fortunate to have both Stepping Stones and Melodic Connections as part of our special community.”
Every Tuesday and Friday, a board certified music therapist led campers in a series of fun and engaging musical activities. Over the course of the nine-week summer day camp music therapy program, groups of children and teens learned about a variety of instruments and expressed themselves while merrily dancing along to their favorite songs.
“It’s a multi-sensory experiences,” shared James Stephenson, a certified music therapist of Melodic Connections. Stephenson led the music therapy program at Stepping Stones every Tuesday throughout the summer.
“I try to incorporate as much visual, auditory and tactile experiences as I can,” Stephenson continued. “If the weather’s nice, we play in the water. There’s a lot of dancing. A lot of air guitar-ing. There’s a component of creativity and discovery in that.”
Becoming Music Video Producers
Another favorite summer day camp music therapy activity was making music videos! Using an iPad and the VidRhythm app, campers enjoyed experimenting as video producers. They had fun exploring the app’s features and filming a series of short music clips. Then, the campers worked together as a group in bringing everything together to unveil a finished masterpiece.
“Kids like that feedback,” Stephenson shared. “To see themselves on screen and hear themselves. And then they have something that they put together as a group which is very cool. Something really special.”
Stepping Stones was founded in 1963 as the first summer camp for children with disabilities in Southwest Ohio. In 2019, the program served more than 400 campers, ranging from age 5 through 22. The popular camp has a culture of create and develops an environment filled with compassion, respect, enthusiasm, adaptability, teamwork and empowerment.
The music therapy program at summer day camp was truly a gift that connected the community through the power of music.
To learn more about Stepping Stones 2019 Summer Camp season, visit the photo gallery.