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Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival Sponsor Natixis Global Asset Management
Surprises Youth in Walpole with a Musical Afternoon
It was a magical afternoon at The Home for Little Wanderers’ Longview Farm Educational Center in Walpole last Thursday. Natixis Global Asset Management, sponsor of this past weekend’s Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival and longtime corporate sponsor of The Home, teamed up with Berklee College of Music musicians Will Lynch and Jason Roth to surprise youth with a fun afternoon learning about jazz, music skills, and rhythm. A group of younger and older youth who are studying different instruments and enrolled in Longview’s music class were able to see how by working together and putting their own emotion into the music, they could create a wonderful conversation between instruments.
“Music makes me happy,” said one young boy at Longview Farm who was eager to share with the group how much he loves taking weekly guitar lessons. “Playing music helps me calm down when I am angry or sad.”
For guest instructor Will Lynch who is training to become a full-time music teacher at Berklee, he agrees with The Home’s philosophy that music is therapeutic and it can help youth thrive and succeed. “I believe that every young person has a story to tell and a unique voice that can open and heal others and the world through creative expression,” he said.
When The Home for Little Wanderers, the nation’s oldest nonprofit child services agency, announced plans for the expansion and renovation of its Longview Farm Campus in 2011, incorporating a space where youth could enjoy elective programming such as music and the arts was at the top of the list. Natixis Global Asset Management and the Music Drives Us Foundation both stepped up to provide support for a music suite. Both understood how music and art are especially therapeutic for youth who struggle with behavioral and emotional issues. Today, the Longview Farm facility can accommodate 40 residential students and 40 day students at the state approved Chapter 766 school which offers year-round educational treatment program for youth aged 5-18.
At Longview Farm’s special education school, educators recognize that music is therapeutic for youth with emotional and behavioral issues and have incorporated music programming into the school’s curriculum. Under the direction of Longview Farm’s Principal Mawakana Onifade and The Home’s Senior Director of Education DaQuall Graham, The Home hopes that the addition of a new fulltime music teacher, Charles Murrell, at the beginning of this academic year will expose young musicians to new music partnerships that will build their confidence and allow them to become more engaged in their treatment.
“For those who find it difficult to express themselves in words, music therapy also provides avenues of communication. Every child may not experience success in the classroom, yet they may be able to experience success in music. Music gives them great opportunities to discover their innate gifts and talents. Exposing them to try new things, like playing an instrument, gives them insight on how they can do bigger and better things in their lives,” said Graham.