Fredericka Manor Sharing the Gift

Fredericka Manor Sharing the Gift

The Clavinova is a digital piano created by Yamaha that has special features such as Follow Lights technology.  This is where the keys light up to guide the player to the correct notes!  This awesome feature allows everyone to be able to play the keyboard, regardless if you know how to read music or not!  Fredericka Manor has a great Clavinova class called “Clavinova Connection”, and is celebrating their 15th year there!  This class not only teaches residents how to play the Clavinova, but also empowers residents to lead sing-a-longs, and have performances in the lounge as well!  Health benefits from learning the Clavinova include improved mood, self-esteem, and enhanced immune system! I had the great opportunity of helping facilitate this wonderful class at Fredericka Manor retirement community.  It was a very enjoyable experience for me during my internship at The Music Therapy Center of California!  Learning the Clavinova keyboard was wonderful and interesting, and I was also fortunate enough to get to know the delightful residents who were taking the class!  One of the things that touched me the most was when I witnessed how motivated the residents were to help share the gift of music.  Last December, Julie Guy brought to my attention how Yamaha Corporation of America was running a promotion where they would donate musical instruments to underfunded music programs in schools across the country.  The only stipulation was to make a video by performing a Yamaha pre-approved song while playing the Clavinova, and then post it on Twitter or Instagram.  When I brought this promotion to the resident’s attention, it was touching to see how motivated everyone was to participate with making videos of themselves so that an underfunded music program could receive free Yamaha keyboards!  Many of the residents in the class took to practicing the tunes beforehand to ensure that they made a good video.  Everyone at the Clavinova class came together to share the gift of music!  This was a fantastic and very sweet thing to witness.  This is one of the reasons why I really enjoyed being a part of the Clavinova class; because of the kind and thoughtful personalities that I had the pleasure of meeting during my time there.  You can view a video of one of the results of the YamahaSharetheGift promotion by clicking on this link:  #YamahaSharetheGift. This video is a testament of the power of giving, and how it can change lives!  Happy viewing!

-Brandon Wright

ATPF/NCL Girls Drum Circle

Girls Group Photo

I had the pleasure of leading the ATPF/NCL girls drum circle with Shannon Flaherty last February in Solana Beach.  The moment we arrived everyone gave us a very warm greeting, and were very eager to help Shannon and I set up all of the drums.  The drum circle was held in the back patio of the Solana Beach Center for Healthy Lifestyle, which proved to be a great atmosphere to have a drum circle.  Shannon and I started with a hello song, and then quickly segued into a drumming experience that challenged the group’s attention skills.  This was done by having the group drum when we were playing, and then to stop drumming when we unexpectedly stopped the music.  Everyone was very successful with this experience!  Shannon and I also utilized different drumming experiences such as playing the syllables of each participant’s name, and by having participants come up in front of the group and leading the drum circle!  At first, some of the participants were a little apprehensive with standing up in front of the group.  Once they started to give the group different drum cues, it was wonderful to see how their enthusiasm increased with every cue they gave.  It was also noticeable, how the group became more and more motivated to engage with every following intervention.  Everyone was so enthusiastic and eager to participate.  Shannon and I both had so much fun with the ATPF/NCL girls drum circle in Solana Beach!  Autism Tree Project Foundation is a wonderful organization, and I highly recommended checking into their upcoming events.  You can see what’s happening by going to, and click on news & events, and then scroll down to upcoming events!

-Brandon Wright