October 2015

My name is Jodi McLaren, and I feel incredibly grateful to be NMTS’s new music therapist! I currently see 21 individuals for therapy and lessons, lead classes, and offer music therapy at Renown Children’s Hospital and Senior Bridges inpatient unit. I’ve worked with the Note-Ables as they rock out around town, and I even had the opportunity to sing with them at the Bower’s Mansion Bluegrass Festival.

In last month’s newsletter, Sarah shared one of my recent experiences at Renown Children’s Hospital. Here are a couple more stories to give you an idea of what I’ve been doing since I got here in July:

I lead weekly music therapy groups at Senior Bridges inpatient unit. Some of the patients in the unit are restrained in their chairs because they are at risk of falling or hurting themselves or others. When I arrived at last week’s session I met a patient who was strapped into her wheelchair and was rather unhappy. As soon as I started singing and playing guitar, she immediately reached out to me, smiled, and sang along to the song Blue Skies. Seeing how happy she was, a very kind nurse helped her out of her chair. With the help of another nurse, they danced around the room – smiling, laughing, and swaying together. The mood in the room shifted from one of discomfort and isolation to one of connection and compassion for all of us.

At NMTS, I’ve also met a lovely woman who had a stroke five years ago. The stroke affected the Broca’s area of her brain (the area responsible for producing speech). She now has aphasia, which makes it very difficult to speak. Because music uses different parts of her brain, she is able to sing phrases that she has difficulty speaking. After writing simple songs to practice phrases she uses in daily life, she has now recovered the ability to say those phrases without singing them – a major breakthrough achieved in a short period of time. Music is becoming the key to rebuilding her connection with language!

I’m also excited to announce that, thanks to an anonymous donor, I will be flying to Boston next week to attend an intensive Neurologic Music Therapy training. Neurologic Music Therapy is the therapeutic application of music to improve function for individuals with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, autism, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological diseases. This training will be incredibly valuable for me and for those we serve in the NMTS community!

New in October

GraceMoves is a wonderfully energizing dance class that is open to seniors (55+) of all abilities. All activities can be adapted for standing or seated dance. No matter if you sit or stand, the classes will wake your body up from the inside out and get you feeling great!

Our new HealthRHYTHMS drum circles incorporate research-based techniques that have demonstrated biological and social benefits. They are a fun way to express yourself and connect with others through sound. No prior drum or musical experience required!These workshops run October 6, 13, 20, and 27. Enrollment fee is $40 per workshop, $35 if you sign up for both. They are being taught by Laurie Martin, a dance instructor and trained HealthRHYTHMS drum circle facilitator.

And even though December seems a long way off, our Holiday Choir starts on Friday, October 16th. This eight-week choir is open to everyone and is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to sing together! Rehearsals will be Fridays at 3:30. The choir already has several community gigs lined up, so make sure to sign up soon. No prior experience required. Enrollment fee is $60 for the 8 weeks.

Please email Jodi or call our office 324-5521 for more information or to register for any of these new programs!

Best of Facebook

When Benjamin Ames’ four-year-old daughter, Adelaide, thought that she heard fireworks and couldn’t sleep, he knew that music would be the perfect way to calm her down. So, propped in front of a camera, the two sang the lovingly simple “Tonight You Belong to Me” as a way to “keep her mind preoccupied.” You are guaranteed to smile when you watch this beautiful video!

Upcoming Events

Disability Awareness Day – Oct 3rd 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The first annual Disability Awareness Festival features performances our Superstar Dance Team at 1:45pm, The Note-Ables at 6:00pm, wheelchair rugby demos, comedian Samuel Comroe, and more! Check out the Disability Awareness Coalition of Northern Nevada’s website for more information and the full schedule of events.

Fire it Up! Morning Dance Party – October 19th 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Morning dance parties are starting up around the country. Why? Because dancing is fun and does more for waking up than a gallon of coffee could ever accomplish. This morning adventure is a lightly structured dance party, led by conscious dance facilitator Laurie Martin, and is on a donation only basis. Come and dance with us!

Basement Session – Oct 19th 12:00 p.m.

Are you curious about music therapy or learning more about our programs? Our monthly Basement Sessions are a opportunity to hear stories and examples of the power of music therapy to transform peoples’ lives, while enjoying tasty treats and a mini performance by The Note-Ables. Email Sarah Toney to reserve your space.

PumpkinPalooza – Oct 25th 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Downtown Sparks will be celebrating all things pumpkin when the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living kicks off PumpkinPalooza 2015. It’s a fantastic festival that includes a pumpkin derby, costume parade, marshmallow shooting, carnival games, and live music! The Note-Ables will be performing on the Great Basin Brewery stage from 12:00 – 12:45 p.m.

Noodles and Notes – November 21st 5:30 p.m.

September Thank Yous

Thank you to our classroom and office volunteers –

Mark Geeson, Tia Henderson, Michael Lahnala, Marilyn Moon, Cindy Oesterle-Prescott, Mary Schoen, Amina Wilson, Mark Yan. And a huge thank you to Chris Middleton for her invaluable assistance with grant research over the past few months!

Endowment Founding Circle

A very special circle of people!

The Board of Directors of Note-Able Music Therapy Services: Ellie Van Winkle, President

The Advisory Board of Note-Able Music Therapy Services
The Eckert Family
Joe Macaluso
Tony Macaluso – In memory of Joe, Mary and Fina Macaluso
Pythia Sisters of Nevada: Jeanille Hyde, Grand Chief
Ms. Heidemarie Rochlin
Dr. & Mrs. Tousson Toppozada
Earl & Peggy Whitney
The Wilson Family
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.



News & Notes is the monthly newsletter from Note-Able Music Therapy Services. Here is your chance to catch up with the band, check out upcoming events, find out how music therapy is impacting our community and the world, and much more.  You can also keep up with us by checking out our website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Board of Directors

Scott Harrington (Past President)
Kate Kirkpatrick (President)
Jim Robertson (Secretary)
Chuck Kazemi (Treasurer)
Debra Bradshaw
John Firestone
Dave Stockman

Advisory Board

Barbara Anderson
Tammy Borde
Christi Cakiroglu
Scott Faulkner
John Firestone
Bob Fulkerson
Mary Lee Fulkerson
Joe Macaluso
Lisa Mancini
Jeanine Mooers
Cindy Oesterle-Prescott
Toni Taylor

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