May 18, 2021
Merriam Music Lessons Spark Joy

LOFT clients discover the healing power of music

Alan Merriam, the president and CEO of Merriam Music, made his first gift to LOFT six years ago. Since then, his investments have helped us to meet increased demands on our programs, ensuring that our clients maintain access to basic needs, like food, as well as life-changing LOFT support.

Meaningful Experiences for Those at Risk

Our collaboration with Alan and his team at Merriam Music is growing again, this time through an exciting pilot project that brings the healing power of music directly to clients in our Mental Health and Justice Initiative (MHJI). Challenged by serious mental illness and past involvement with the criminal justice system, these clients are some of our most vulnerable.

Once a week for 12 weeks, Merriam Music teachers meet clients for a virtual lesson, passing on new skills and showing them how to use music to calm anxiety, improve mood and boost concentration.

New Tunes are Lifting Spirits

To ensure the program’s success, Merriam Music made the permanent donation of a piano to the MHJI site.

The piano made an instant impact. “I can’t tell you the joy that has been felt throughout the entire program since the piano arrived,” explains Cylene Rainville, program director at MHJI. “The music provides a lightness, filling our space with energy and positivity.”

From Songs to Success

What’s really special about this new pilot project is the way it can be personalized to each client. The team at Merriam Music has outlined three different learning pathways for clients to choose from. Whether they select a more traditional lesson framework, an introduction to music production, or are just looking to deepen their music appreciation and find personal healing, there is a virtual option that ensures everyone has a positive outcome.

Positive Outcomes Include

  1. Ability to play basic sheet music = A deep sense of accomplishment
  2. Ability to create and record basic music tracks = Seeing creativity come to life
  3. New knowledge of musical styles = Understanding of how music supports wellbeing