With a growing collection of musical instruments, The Barry Robinson Center’s music therapy program continues to flourish.
Thanks to several generous donors, the Center recently acquired an organ, piano, djembe drum, two hand drums and three guitars.
The family of Mary Beazley, a former local church organist, donated the organ in March. Currently placed in the choir loft of the Center’s chapel, the organ will be a welcome musical addition during prayer services and other events.
Some of the donors wish to remain anonymous. These donors include a music therapist in the community and a couple military service members.
Stephanie King, the Center’s music therapist for the past 26 years, says she’s pleased to receive these instruments. And she’ll definitely put them to good use in her work with residents.
For example, the piano has a new home in the Gara/Grissom dorms, where younger children stay while in treatment. Staff are creating a music area where the children will be able to use the piano for skill-building practice.
Ms. King directs the Voices of Pride choir and a guitar ensemble. Occasionally, residents in treatment may have experience or interest in learning how to play a particular instrument. Musical instrument donations enable the Center to provide these opportunities. Ms. King works closely with the other therapists to help ensure residents who want to participate can do so.
Even with residents rotating in and out of treatment every few months, the choir maintains a level of excellence with its ever-changing lineup of young singers and musicians. This excellence comes from King’s leadership, as she demonstrates a remarkable knack for teaching and encouraging her young charges.
“Consistency is the key. I can be flexible, but I’m consistent,” King explained. “I mix nurturing and limit-setting together, and I teach the members commitment and responsibility.”
The Voices of Pride choir has been a core feature of the Center for nearly as long as King’s tenure. The choir performs during the year at several venues. On campus, they perform at prayer services and “Tunes at Noon” in the cafeteria. Occasionally, they also perform in the community at nursing homes.
Thanks to King’s dedication, music therapy and the Voices of Pride choir are distinctive program elements that set the Center apart from other residential treatment facilities.