It has officially been one year since Open Air Music Therapy’s ribbon cutting, and so much has happened! Here’s a little recap:
The year started with an invitation to my alma mater, Arizona State, to guest lecture about curriculum development and the connection between music and STEM in youth programs. A few weeks later I spoke at a mental health summit about music as a tool for connection and self expression for those experiencing suicidal tendencies as well as those in relation to that individual. I’m unfamiliar with being on the opposite side of academia, but it was an honor.
Mid year was all about ADVOCACY! Along side my mentor company Mind-full Music Therapy, and community partner KEEN Phoenix, we connected with other healthcare providers to connect with our state leaders at the capitol. We shared our successes and struggles, and talked over ways to support those with developmental disabilities transitioning out of school and into the workforce. Then I was able to advocate for my own client in an IEP meeting. When parents tell you they fight for services, they are not being hyperbolic.
All of this beautiful growth demanded more room to flourish, this time in a more literal sense. By April, OAMT needed a location. I’d exhausted my search right as the ensemble I’m in (Composers Improvisors Big Band) was gearing up to perform in our first live concert since the pandemic at Oh My Ears music festival. We were blessed to be able to perform at Phoenix Conservatory of Music. Less than a month later, Open Air had become the resident music therapy company at PCM!
This wonderful partnership has allowed my clients access to more instruments and technology than I currently know how to utilize. It also lead to collaboration in creating an Early Childhood Music Academy, in which littles age 3 to 5 get to explore their world and learn music simultaneously (music therapy meets Montessori!). This beautiful venture starts in two days and our team has been working so hard creating curriculum and a safe and nurturing environment to learn in.
Before venturing out as my own entity, necessity had me working side jobs. I spent time serving coffee, babysitting, providing companion care, habilitation, and respite. It was exhausting. I was exhausted. The side work felt heavier and left me drained because it didn’t fully align with my skill set or passion.
Creating and cultivating a business has let me be selective about where my attention goes and who I work with. I’ve learned that it’s okay to advocate for yourself, and doing so helps you help others. Now, I’m in community with people who respect my boundaries, my time, and my energy. And guess what, it’s so REFRESHING!! Rather than constantly grinding and ‘proving my worth’, I’m being held up and encouraged to rest and find balance.
On that note, October will be the first time since launching that there will be a pause in services. During this “Autumn break,” I’m getting MARRIED! How exciting to get to share our love with those whose hearts have helped us grow it.
Reflecting on a year of business, I have so much gratitude to give to those who share in my vision and help me run with it. Thank you all for your continuous donations, support, and opportunities. And thank YOU specifically for reading this and being invested in our success. There is so much more coming, but first we rest.