October 2017

We had a different message prepared for this month’s newsletter, but it just didn’t capture our thoughts and feelings in light of what happened in Las Vegas. We want to send our thoughts and love to our fellow Nevadans and everyone who was affected by the senseless shooting on Sunday. It is easy to become overwhelmed every time you turn on the news these days. Between the hurricanes in the southern US and Puerto Rico, tragedies in Spain, Iraq, and Myanmar, and this latest shooting, it’s hard to think of ways to help or even cope. In dark times, our best responses are the ways we support each other. Support may mean donating to organizations doing great work in our communities, or giving blood at your local chapter of United Blood Services. And, as we often say, music and all arts are powerful ways to express grief and find hope for the future. If nothing else, take good care and connect with those you love. In our connection to each other lies our strength and wisdom.  

Take care,


NMTS Moments

The Eddy House population of homeless youth, as you may imagine, is transient. While we’ve had a core group come regularly, there are others I see once and then not again for many months. Heather (not her real name) is one of the teens I worked with many months ago and had not seen again until recently. When I first met Heather in group, we decided to have our session outside on the back patio to enjoy the weather. Heather and another participant, Steve, had an idea — let’s write a collaborative song for the Eddy House,so we can sing it as we walk through the streets to inspire more people to come to The Eddy House. The Pied Pipers of the Eddy House! That same day we came up with an instrumental backdrop for others to add lyrics to. We recorded the melody with Steve on the metallophone, Heather singing, me playing guitar, and Eric, our volunteer, playing drums. In the weeks to follow, many other members of the Eddy House came to group. I played the instrumental backdrop and they all contributed lyrics as part of our group. Soon enough we had a song called “You Got Me Like.” It’s a fun, catchy song about finding love, having fun, and making friendships at the Eddy House.

Heather recently returned to group after being gone for weeks and she asked to learn guitar. As soon as she got her fingers to make an E chord, she started strumming. She was focused and her foot started tapping her rhythm. I could start to hear the music she had inside of her. As she continued her strumming, I caught her rhythm with my guitar, and strummed with her. Soon she began plucking the individual strings, her first guitar solo, while I continued to play. As our E-chord song came to a natural close and she beamed and exclaimed, “I can play guitar! This is so fun!” We reminded her of the song she and Steve made. As we played her the recording of what everyone has added to the song in her absence, she smiled and played along with the recording.

Heather then told me that she’d been to the hospital for psychiatric care. She now lives in a sober living house and will be starting a new job soon. She, like many other homeless youth, either had a drug overdose or an attempted suicide since the last time I had seen her, but this day she was strong, brave, and full of joy. Learning that chord on guitar may have been simple, but it added fuel to her fire of knowing that she CAN do great things. It gave sound to the music inside her, and I won’t be surprised if I see her return next week to learn more.

Jodi McLaren

Welcome Theresa Grant!

We’re very happy to welcome Theresa Grant to the board of directors of Note-Able Music Therapy Services. Theresa is one of the founding board members of the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada. She is also a graduate of the Nevada Partners in Policymaking; a leadership-training program designed to increase empowerment and improve advocacy skills. She has a 15 year old son who is a musician and a 20 year old son with intellectual/developmental disabilities who has been a participant at NMTS for many years. She is a proud military wife. When she’s not renovating/landscaping at home, or volunteering/advocating in the community; she is educating for an online health and wellness store. Her mantra is “live life to the fullest!”

Siren Song Masquerade

Save the date and grab your table! 

Siren Song Masquerade is February 10th, 2018 at the Atlantis Resort and Casino. Slip into the belly of a sunken ship and become enchanted by the siren’s song. Dance away the night at the bottom of the sea where decadent sweets, strange creatures, and bubbling champagne await!

Save the date, snap up your table, and start planning your costumes! You can check out the event site here, follow the latest of the Facebook Event Page, and consider sponsorship opportunities here. Please call Sarah Toney with any questions or ideas! 775-324-5521

Best of Facebook

Thank you for all the love! NMTS was honored by EDAWN with this year’s Excellence in Arts Business Management award. Not only was this a wonderful gift for us, but when we shared the news with our community, again we were overwhelmed again with support. It takes all sorts of skills and people to make an arts nonprofit thrive, and business is part of what keeps it all going. Many thanks to EDAWN, and their dedication to arts and culture as an integral element in our community’s vibrant economic life.

Follow Us on Social Media

Upcoming Events

Basement Session – Monday, October 16th, 12pm (McKinley Arts and Culture Center) Would you like to get to know more about music therapy, adaptive music, and The Note-Ables? This lunch event is free to attend and is a small gathering, so there’s plenty of time to ask your questions. And The Note-Ables play! RSVP to Sarah Toney at sarahtoney@note-ables.org

Pumpkin Palooza – Sunday, October 22nd, 1 – 1:40pm (Sparks Victorian Square) The Note-Ables will be playing at Pumpkin Palooza, the annual fall and Halloween celebration in downtown Sparks. Pumpkin Palooza is a family-friendly event with entertainment, games, costume parade, storytelling and more and is hosted by NNCIL.

Halloween Party – Thursday, October 26th, 3pm (McKinley Arts and Culture Center) Time to party! Dress in your best costume and join our families and participants for an afternoon of spooky fun. Dancing, games, crafts, snacks, and costume contests. No need for RSVPs, just come and join in.

Fall Showcase – Saturday, November 11th, 7pm (Cargo in Whitney Peak) Our participants are already working on their next big show, The Fall Showcase. Our Exploring Music and dance classes, the Electronic Music Project, and The Note-Ables will all be featured on one of Reno’s hottest stages. Tickets are available now!

September Thank Yous!

Thank you to our September donors! Liz Motter, Kathy Imboden, Marilyn and Paul Moon, Sheena and David Evans, Kate and Jay Kirkpatrick, Mary Lee Fulkerson, Bob Fulkerson, Scott Harrington, Susan Mazer-Smith and Dallas Smith, Nancy Hoffman, Jaime Briscoe Collins, Q&D Contrsuction

Thank you to our classroom and office volunteers!  Sara Bolling, Jewelene Fritts, Mark Geeson, Eric Gieseke, Chris Keenan, Tonia Meyers, Marilyn Moon, Courtney Mayer, Cindy Oesterle-Prescott, Gregory Raymond, Nicky Stevens, and Ken Vogel

Music Quote of the Month


Wish List

  • Art supplies – anything you’re not using, we’ll find a use for!
  • Greeting cards and thank you notes
  • iTunes gift cards
  • Disposable food service goods, such as paper plates, cutlery, cups and napkins
  • Postage stamps



Board of Directors

Kate Kirkpatrick – President
Director of Public Information, Marketing & Communications, Truckee Meadows Community College

Dave Stockman – Treasurer
President – Stillwater Foundation

Sandy Jacob – Secretary

Dennis Doty – Director
Physical Therapist – HCR ManorCare 

John Firestone – Director
Executive Director – The Life Change Center

Theresa Grant – Director



Give the gift of music!

Your donations provide for our low cost and adjustable-rate fees for classes, workshops, music therapy and music lessons! Every dollar donated helps people of all abilities to continue to have access to music therapy and programs.


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