Hello! You can tell it’s been a busy month when there are an incredible number of people to thank in the newsletter, like there are this month. May was full of community events and wonderful goodwill. Our month started with the Spring Recital for our individual participants, followed by The Note-Ables performing with the Reno Pops Orchestra, at Renown’s Diversity Day and at the Seniors in Service lunch. We also had our High Notes Society Breakfast fundraiser, which brought even more community involvement and support.

It’s times like this that I am filled with gratitude. I often hear that Reno/Sparks is a special place that is full of generosity and care for our neighbors. Last month, especially, made me aware that this is indeed true. Thank you for all you do in this community, for Note-Ables and for everyone else you serve and take care of. It is through our collective care of each other that we are able to thrive.


Sarah Toney
Development Director

P.S. We were published in the Reno Gazette-Journal this week! Did you see the article yet?

P.P.S. The wonderful folks at The Grove at SouthCreek have donated a dinner party for 6 to be served at your home. Dinner comes with wine pairings and is a $600 value. We’re raffling off this wonderful item! You can buy your tickets here.

NMTS Moments

Jennifer Crudo is the wonderful mother of Trey Boreham, one of our participants. Jennifer shared her story at the High Notes Society Breakfast.

“Thank you for allowing me to share my story. Twenty-three years ago I was expecting my first baby. My pregnancy was perfect, even labor wasn’t bad. But when the doctor handed me my beautiful baby boy, I knew something wasn’t right. His breathing was off.

Ten hours later, I was told my baby had a 50/50 chance of surviving.

Well, Trey did make it. But due to a lack of communication between the doctor and nurses, Trey has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, blindness, brain damage and he is immobile.

As Trey grew I kept him involved in many different activities. Physical therapy since birth, softball, skiing at Sky Tavern, swimming and now Note-Able Music Therapy. There are many wonderful programs for kids and adults with challenges, but music therapy is different. Instead of being physical, it’s very mentally stimulating.

During Trey’s first class he started to strum the guitar and make up his own little song. The instrument triggers something in his brain. The same thing happened when he tried the xylophone. He starts out humming while hitting the keys and breaks out into a nursery song we sang when he was a toddler. Now this might not seem so great to the average person, but to him it’s like hitting a home run. He’s in a safe place and expressing himself and his emotions in a safe way.

As a family with a special needs child, we have experienced many different situations. People smile, say hello and ask questions. But, we have also experienced the stares, pointing, mocking and laughing. We don’t get that here at the Note-Ables. These kids and adults are praised for their talent and encouraged to keep going. No one cares if they land on the next big TV show. They are already SUPERSTARS!

The Note-Ables are all about helping these kids and adults find their talent. What they don’t realize is the impact they have on the parents, siblings, grandparents and all of the cousins, aunts and uncles. The challenges can be as rewarding as they are grueling and it can take a toll on all of those around you.

But, the Note-Ables make the disabilities disappear.”

Thank you, Jennifer and Trey!

Trey is a SUPERSTAR at Note-Ables and everywhere he goes!

Special Donor Event in August!

We’re so excited to be hiring a second full time music therapist. It is a major milestone in expanding music therapy and adaptive music programs in our community. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a special donor event on August 24th as a way to thank all of you who have made this possible.

We are so close, but we still have some work to do. Our goal is to have all of the costs associated with our new therapist covered for the first year. That way we can focus on making sure that the position is fully sustainable moving forward. We have our plan in place and everything is set to go. The last step is to raise the final $10,000 by the end of June.

Can you help? Donate $100 or more in June and you and a guest will be invited to our special celebration on August 24th with The Note-Ables at West Street Market! Stay tuned for details.

Jodi working with Exploring Music class

Upcoming Events

Fire it Up! Morning Dance Party - June 17th 8 am at McKinley Arts and Culture Center (Basement - West Side) Come dance with us and our facilitator Laurie Martin. Laurie leads us through a wild mixture of beats to wake our bodies up from the inside out! This group is about expressing and moving our bodies in ways that feel good, instead of dancing in just the right way. It's all about what you wanna do. Free with suggested $5 donation.

Basement Session - June 20th 12 - 1pm at McKinley Arts Center Would you like to know more about music therapy and our programs? You're welcome to join us for lunch! We share stories and explain what makes music therapy so effective, and The Note-Ables play a brief set. It's fun, informative and inspiring. Please email Sarah Toney for more information and to RSVP. Seating is limited, so please do contact us to attend!

The Note-Ables at the Airport (Artown event!) - July 5th 12 pm - 1 pm at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport Artown is hosting arts events all month at the airport and The Note-Ables are always a big hit at this event. Come be a part of the fun! Free event.

Summertime Blues - July 28th 6 - 8 pm at McKinley Arts and Culture Front Lawn Join us under the trees at our annual summer Artown event! We're celebrating the blues this year with The Note-Ables, the participants of NMTS classes, The Electric Catfish the Band, and Bridge Church Blues Band. We'll have tons of music, dancing, food trucks and kids' activities. Be sure to get this on your calendar. Free event.


The Note-Ables at the Biggest Little Music Festival 2015.

Music Therapy Perspectives by Jodi McLaren

People with Alzheimers or dementia can remember and appreciate music long after losing many other mental capacities. Since the brain’s capacity to respond to music is still intact even in people with advanced dementia, it can be an incredible tool in helping people retrieve memories, re-orient to their surroundings, and connect with loved ones.

While I was working in hospice care during my internship in Florida, I made a phone call to a new patient who was in the early stages of dementia. When I called to offer music therapy, her husband answered the phone and said that his wife was miserable but that I could still come. She complained of being in pain, was anxious, and afraid of not being able to remember anything. She kept trying to remember phrases or sayings and when she could not recall them, she would ruminate on the words lost, the memories lost, and the memories she was going to continue to lose.

Frank Sinatra was her absolute favorite. I played the song “It Had to Be You” and she started to remember times shared with her husband. She began to smile, and sing the words with me. We continued to play familiar music from her life, and she recalled memories of her sons dancing in the living room. She and her husband laughed together and sang together. Her husband said that this was the first time she had smiled in a month. She talked about how she was spending all day thinking about the pain in her body, and that she didn’t realize she could be thinking about something else. The music lifted her into a space of appreciation for the positive moments in her life. With her focusing on the music, her physical pain drifted to the background. Music therapy offered her a way to connect to the positive aspects of her life and her memories. Even when dementia reaches later stages, people often recall the words to songs and the feelings associated with the music.

While music therapy does not provide a cure for dementia, it does give people with dementia and their loved ones a way to connect in the present moment and continue to experience meaningful social bonds.

Jodi McLaren, our primary music therapist

Best of Facebook

Our Facebook fans really loved this painting! We shared it originally because it speaks to the spirit of Note-Able Music Therapy Services, which is to encourage everyone in our community to participate in life to the fullest possible extent. If that means singing out of tune, then you sing out of tune, but you sing with joy and in full participation with the group. If that means dancing while seated in a chair, then you dance seated in a chair and that is perfect. We always have a choice of sitting out or joining in. At Note-Ables, we sincerely hope you always make the choice to do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

May Thank Yous!

Thank you to our classroom and office volunteers – Mark Geeson, Marilyn Moon, Cindy Oesterle-Prescott, Mary Schoen, Shannon Halliwell, and Elizabeth Andersen

Special Thank You to Note-Able Volunteers and The Reno Pops Orchestra! Beth Varney, Cheryl Eckert, Stephanie Humbeutel, Rick Michaelson, Natalie Michaelson, Scotty Cozen and The Note-Ables. Special thank you to the Reno Pops Orchestra and Director Jane Brown for asking us to join them in their wonderful performance, and congratulations to Gary Buchanan for the premier of his work Kyoto Sun.

As always, thank you to our Endowment Founding Circle! The Note-Able Music Therapy Services endowment fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. By contributing to the fund, you will guarantee that children and adults – no matter their age or ability – will always have a place where they can learn, grow, and experience a community that is connected through the love of music. Please call or email us for more information about how you can contribute to the legacy of NMTS.

High Notes Society Breakfast Thank Yous

Many thanks to those who attended and made a donation at the High Notes Society breakfast - Brenda Frew, Sandy Jacob, Dodie Bryant, Nanette and Ted Oleson, Maryann Walters, Deanna Lyons, Caren Jenkins, Connie Zanotto, Kathy Person, Ann Bacon, Janice Duis, Rita Sipaila, Sheila Shay, Susan Boner, Jim and Monica Elsbrock, Bernie Cotton, Shari Elena Quinn, Kris Layman, Liz Motter, Jolene Stewart, Susan Mazer-Smith and Dallas Smith, Tammy Sharp, Elsa and Rick Heroux, Jennifer Crudo, Jill Gabel, Nancy Young, Barbara Daliposon, Marilyn and Chuck Landolt, Millie Hopper, Linda Brown, Toni Taylor, Jeanine and Pauline Mooers, Barb Anderson, Peter Lenz, Jim Keogh, and Brynda Searing. For a list of all of our wonderful donors, please check out our donor page.

Special thanks to those who joined the High Notes Society this month - Rick and Elsa Heroux, Dodie Bryant, and Sandy Jacob  

Thank you for our High Notes Society speakers, table captains and performers - Barb Anderson, Jennifer Crudo, Kim Franchi, Jennifer Kerin, Mayte Castro, Cheryl Eckert, John and Wendy Firestone, Jill Gabel, Mark Geeson, Sandy Jacob, Marilyn Moon, Beth Varney, Lisa and Mike Rizzoli,Sandy Young, Heather Schomberg, Drew Winebarger, and Bev Carpenter 

Thank you to The Grove for hosting our event so beautifully and for donating a $600 gift certificate for us to raffle off this summer! 


Music Quote of the Month

Wish List

  • Paper shredder and paper cutter!
  • Office and art supplies
  • 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

Charles Kazemi – Treasurer Owner – Make Your Momentum

Jim Robertson – Secretary Social Worker – Gentiva Hospice

John Firestone – Director Executive Director – The Life Change Center

Dave Stockman – Director President – Stillwater Foundation

Marilyn Moon – Director

Sandy Jacob - 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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