Music Therapy

Music Therapy
By:  Wendy Ray

Cape Girardeau, MO -- You just can't help but tap your foot or sing along to your favorite song; t

hat's why music is the focus of a new program in Cape Girardeau. Music is used not only to entertain, but also to teach some very special people. Music therapist Kelly Pujol has put together a music recreational group to help adults with disabilities. It's not all work though. The students have a lot of fun!

Pujol uses a special song to learn her students' names. "Welcome to music today Paloma, welcome to music today," Pujol says. "La, la, la, la, Paloma. Welcome to music today. Hey Paloma's a singer." Just a few minutes into the class, Pujol has already reached a goal to get everyone involved and singing. "Basically we're working on communication skills. We're working on cognitive skills and motor skills. We may have to adapt the instruments depending on their fine motor skills," Pujol says.

Pujol says singing is therapeutic for everyone, but it's also a type of therapy. "Sometimes singing can strengthen the diaphragmatic support and work on the oral motor skills they need for communication," she says. This isn't the first time these students at Horizons Enrichment Center have had fun with music; it's mixed into other activities they do. Cara Glueck with the Horizons Enrichment Center says, "We have some clients who are verbal and some who are non verbal. It gives everyone a chance to participate and have a fun time learning and they are entertaining themselves."

Just having a good time is a big part of this session. Chris Mantz loves music. "I like to do music. I like to sing," he says.

The group meets monthly at Horizons Enrichment Center in Cape.