Mariah is an accredited Music Therapist who joined the team at Community Living Cambridge in February of this year, just weeks before COVID. Mariah provides music therapy services through Connecting in Rhythm and was first contacted by one of our staff seeking to make a connection for some of the participants.
Music therapy can be used to encourage a therapeutic relationship with another person, increase body movement as a form of expression, increase communication skills, support cognitive function, or enhance sensory-motor capability. The different therapeutic approaches are tailored depending on the individual and his/her outcome.
When I asked Mariah why she chose music therapy, she told the story of when she was in grade 10 and a Laurier recruiter came to her high school and introduced her to music therapy. She always had a love for music and had been taking lessons from a young age, and she enjoyed helping people. Combining these two passions, and using music as a way to enrich people’s lives, became her calling.
CLC is a dream location for a musical therapist as there was no previous music therapy program in place. It has been an exciting experience for Mariah to develop a program from scratch to support the participants at CLC. Mariah’s program was an almost immediate success and she began developing connections and relationships with the participants in her first few weeks.
What gets Mariah out of bed each morning is those magic moments like when she is working with someone who does not use words to communicate, and they respond positively through body movement, facial expressions, or vocalizing sounds/words through singing. She enjoys working with all of the participants and understanding their uniqueness, so she can structure her program to meet their needs. She loves that she can reach so many different people via music therapy, and says it’s an extremely rewarding experience.
During COVID-19 she has been connecting with her clients virtually. Mariah acknowledges it’s not the same as an in-person session, but it does help create a sense of connection and engagement. Mariah shared that she feels very fortunate to experience music through the eyes of those she works with. As an agency we are extremely fortunate to have her with us, engaging and building connections with the folks we care so much about.
Connecting in Rhythm is offering services during COVID. If interested, please call Mariah at 306-220-3359. She also teaches adapted piano, guitar, and ukulele lessons to a variety of students of all abilities.