October 2016


We hope this note finds you well and enjoying the beauty of our spectacular fall weather. This month is all about connection and community here at Note-Able Music Therapy Services.

We have had the great joy of meeting so many new people through the classes and community programs we started in September. We’re also connecting with educators, mental health practitioners, and health care providers across the region to learn more about how we can serve the community most effectively. It is inspiring to see how many dedicated people we have in our midst working for the health and vitality of the Truckee Meadows! In fact, we had the pleasure of working with many such people on a promotional video for the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. We were honored to have our original song Believe selected as the soundtrack for this great video, which was released on October 4th.

Coming up soon is our Fall Showcase at the Nugget Celebrity Showroom in Sparks. It will be a wonderful evening, and our participants are so excited to have the chance to perform on one of the best stages in the area. For some of them, the Fall Showcase will be their first experience of being a star – complete with dressing rooms, a real stage with lights, and a house full of cheering fans. We hope to see you at the Nugget, celebrating and cheering for our participants who have so much to give to our community. It will be a night to remember!


Lonny Dill of Sharktooth Productions filming The Note-Ables for the Community Foundation of Western Nevada’s video.

NMTS Moments with Caitlin

In the short time I have been here, I have met an enormous number of kind-hearted people in an environment where everyone’s gifts are welcome. I could not be more grateful to be part of a community that is focused on improving the quality of life for everyone through connection, healing, and music.

One of the most powerful moments I experienced so far at NMTS was during an Exploring Music class. During the hello song and check-in around the circle, a participant had trouble telling the group how she was feeling. Instead of being impatient or ignoring her trouble, the group jumped in to help her express herself and support her when she did find the words she wanted to say. This caring and expression hasn’t been an isolated event. The groups here at NMTS are places where people can express how they truly feel, because everyone is supported and loved. I am absolutely inspired by my experience of these groups where this level of love and support for each other is the norm. I can’t wait to see more of these moments.

Music Therapy Perspectives – Start Where You’re At

Many of us understand that music has the ability to profoundly impact our mood, but how do we know where to start? If you feel angry, should you listen to calming music? If you feel sad, should you listen to happy music?

In general, with music therapy mental health groups and individual sessions, we use something called the ISO principle, which basically means to first meet people where they are, and then gradually move to a desired mood state or energy state. If a mental health group check in reveals that people are feeling frustrated and sad, we may begin with writing a blues song or exploring music that expresses the emotions present in the group. This invites people to express their frustration in a format that is creative, satisfying, and ultimately fun. Through the process of expressing the frustration, people’s negative emotions subside and lighten. Often after singing songs we write together, groups will end feeling energized, calm, lighter, and more positive. The ISO principal is a guiding principal in music therapy and can inform your use of music at home – start by selecting music that expresses what you are currently feeling, express it fully, and then gradually pick music that helps move you where you want to go.

Jodi McLaren leading a music therapy group

Upcoming Events

Fire it Up! Morning Dance Party – October 7th and 21st, 8 am (McKinley Arts and Culture Center, west side basement)
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.

The Note-Ables Performance at UCP Thrift Shop – October 8th, 12pm (2150 Oddie Blvd, Sparks)
Join The Note-Ables in celebrating the Grand Re-Opening of the UCP thrift shop. There will be fun activities, treats, and great music from 12 – 1pm!

Basement Session – October 17th, 12 pm (McKinley Arts and Culture Center, west side basement)
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 Performance at Pumpkin Palooza – October 23rd, 12pm (Great Basin Stage, Victorian Square)
The Note-Ables are thrilled to perform again at Pumpkin Palooza, hosted by Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living. This is likely to be the largest ever Pumpkin Palooza with thousands of community members coming to be a part of the fun. Check out more information on this grand event. 

The Fall Showcase – November 5th, 7pm at Nugget Celebrity Showroom
The Fall Showcase is our participants’ time to shine on the big stage of the Celebrity Showroom, along with The Note-Ables! As one of our participants put it, they get to be on the same stage that some of the the greats performed, like Johnny Cash and Pat Boone. Everyone is full of excitement to perform at the Nugget and can’t wait to show you all that they can do. Buy your tickets online today!

Fall Showcase

Best of Facebook

Our Facebook community loved the story of Rainbow Connection in Arizona, which is a community choral group for people with and without autism to come together, sing, and perform. This group provides a safe place for people on the spectrum to express themselves in a constructive way, in collaboration with others with and without autism. Even though we may not believe it of ourselves, music actually is a core strength of all humans. Music is part of who we are – so when we sing or dance together, people with and without disabilities can participate together in group expression equally. Music brings us into community, even when all of the other doors to connection seem closed. One of the music therapy students running Rainbow Connection said, “Every session, it’s like magic. I see how music works, and I see how they improve during that one session, and you see how happy they are. That, you know, just brings me tears. Every single session.”

Read the full article here.

Follow us on Facebook

Link to choir video

Photo by Emma Sounart | The State Press
Ruihao Zhang engages the Rainbow Connection before they start their next activity on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

New Groups and Class Openings

Great news! We have space in some of our new groups and classes. Explore our website for more information on groups and classes. Call Dena Sweigart in the office to register. 775-324-5521

Teen and Young Adult Exploring Music – Tuesday 3 – 4pm
For people of all abilities who want to come participate in music, make friends and perform in the community.

Holiday Choir for people of all abilities – Friday 3:30 – 4:15pm
In addition to weekly rehearsals, participants will have multiple performance opportunities throughout the holiday season.

Teen Creative Connections – Thursday 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Led by a board-certified and licensed music therapist, Creative Connections is a music therapy group for teens to develop coping skills through creative self-expression with peers. This class is geared toward teens (ages 13-21) with mental health challenges such anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Adult Creative Connections – Friday 2 – 3 pm
Led by a board-certified and licensed music therapist, Adult Creative Connections is a music therapy group for adults with mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, addiction, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder.

September Thank Yous!

Thank you to our Golf Tournament Sponsors, Donors, Attendees, and Volunteers! 
Mann Mortgage, Trevino Golf Institute, Make Your Momentum, Flowing Tide Pub, Sticks, Elsa and Rick Heroux, Brewer’s CabinetCustomInk, Country Financial, and Finel and Bartshe Home Team with Remax, Maureen Groach, Patti Meals, Marilyn Moon, Laurel Sweigart, and Wolf Run Golf Club

And a huge thank you to Chuck Kazemi and Dave Stockman for all of your hard work putting on such a great event, which raised more than $5,000 for our music therapy programs. We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

Thank you to our classroom and office volunteers! 
Mark Geeson, Tia Henderson, Marilyn Moon, Cindy Oesterle-Prescott, and Chris Keenan

Thank you to our September donors!
Scott Harrington, Kate and Jay Kirkpatrick, Paul and Marilyn Moon, and Jaime Briscoe Collins.

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.

Music Quote of the Month

Wish List

  • Art supplies – anything you’re not using, we’ll find a use!
  • 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

Marilyn Moon – Secretary

John Firestone – Director
Executive Director – The Life Change Center

Sandy Jacob – Director

Dennis Doty – Director 
Physical Therapist – HCR ManorCare 

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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