Music is Art is teaming up with the Blues Society of Western New York to establish an “an innovative music therapy program” that is not only unique to Buffalo, but is also nationally recognized by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, TN. The initiative, called The Nurs’n Blues Program, has been developed to help adolescents and young adults who are facing addiction issues. We all know how problematic addiction has become, in all neighborhoods and communities. This unique program combines blues history with music interventions, in an approach that those afflicted with addictions can relate to, with the help of “music therapists.”
Music therapy is the clinical and evidenced-based use of music to achieve specific individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.
It was local blues musician and nurse, Patti Parks, who came up with the instrumental coping mechanism. The program uses “music prescriptives” prescribed by a board certified music therapist to deal with the following negative effects of addiction:
- Self-esteem issues
- Appropriate emotional expression
- Improved social interactions
- Interpersonal relationships
- Trigger coping skills
Music interventions can include many remedies, such as lyric analysis, lyric identification, songwriting, rhythm circles, drawing to music, and movement to music.
Sheila Connors, the therapist working with the Nurs’n Blues program is excited to have assisted over 600 clients since the program’s inception.
“I think as a community we would be hard pressed to find someone who’s life hasn’t been touched by addiction in some way. When we read through the stories from people who have benefitted from this program we knew we had to be involved,” said Music is Art executive director, Tracy Shattuck, “Music is Art’s mission includes the words cultural, educational, and social…the Nurs’n Blues program speaks to all of that.”
“The Blues Society of WNY is honored to collaborate with Music is Art to expand the Nurs’n Blues program. The testimonials we have received from clients and administrators at Horizon Village, along with the growing demand for this program, confirms for us that music therapy is a relevant and beneficial vehicle,” said Adrienne Thompson, Blues Society of WNY President.
“Horizon Village Campus is a residential program currently serving 100 men and women battling substance use disorders. One of our goals when treating someone is to help them develop the skills and resources they need, not only to achieve, but to succeed in their recovery. Over the last few years, the Nurs’n Blues Program has been coming to our campus, offering residents the opportunity to participate in and experience their program,” Anne Constantino, President and CEO explains. “Our residents are given the opportunity to examine emotions and self-esteem, enhance their positivity, empower themselves through success and enhance mindfulness and relaxation techniques. We at Horizon can sincerely attest to the benefits of this program; the energy and positivity from program facilitators is nothing short of inspiring. On behalf of Horizon Village Campus, I would like to thank the Nurs’n Blues program for providing such a wonderful opportunity to our residents, and for helping them open communication channels and create a positive introspection to their recovery.”
Information on this program and others can be found at:
Lead image: Sheila Connors- Nurs’n Blues, Board Certified Music Therapist | Robby Takac- Music is Art, Founder & President | Adrienne Thompson- Blues Society of WNY, President | Patti Parks- Nurs’n Blues, Founder