As one reflects on the past year, one is reminded of the importance of community partners. A service provider of any industry is only as successful as the company it keeps, and the strong partnerships it develops and maintains.
Earlier this year, both Fermata and myself were acknowledged with awards that recognized not only the importance of the work Fermata offers the community, but also the importance the community places on Fermata. Whilst these public admissions of support have gained vital awareness of Fermata, they have also increased the role of music therapy, music education and social activity and engagement through the use of music and the arts. In May of this year, I said in an interview with the Hamilton Spectator, “music therapy is no longer regarded as an alternative therapy, but a mainstream one”. But as the year comes to a close and I reflect on these words, I think the same can be said about the representation of Fermata and music therapy as being in the mainstream of community projects taking place in Hamilton. Of all the things my team and I have achieved this year, the universal recognition from our community of what we offer, as a service provider, is by far the highest privilege.
As we edge closer into 2015, I wish to share the exciting new projects and changes that will take Fermata into the New Year, and extend on the success we have achieved.
As of January 1, Fermata will be a shared partner at a new location. Offering services at 533 Main Street East, Hamilton, we will be partnering with Lawson, who offer a wide range of services to adults with developmental disabilities, and Autism Ontario, both of whom Fermata has established key working partnership’s, offering all clients subsidized music therapy and specially-adapted music education. Our new location offers enhanced services and connects our families with these important and valuable community partners.
In addition, our team is growing. In the last week, music therapist David has joined our team, and more information about his background will be available in the New Year. David will be offering music therapy in various long-term care homes, an area of clinical need that Fermata seeks to increase access for all residents in long term and palliative care.
Fermata also seeks to extend the geographical remit of our services. This has begun with music therapy being extended to a long term care home in Grimsby, and further LTCs in St. Catharine’s and Niagara, as well as furthering our offerings in the GTA.
Our day programs to adults with disabilities in day centre’s and independent living homes is also part of our focus, and we are pleased to be offering programs across two new sites with Hamilton-based organization ‘Choices’.
Our No Bounds program has grown, and our aim is to offer further lessons to students with the help of a new music instructor joining us soon.
Lastly, I am grateful for the opportunity for my work and research to be recognized by my peers, and the offer to write a book with a publisher in Germany. My new book, “Music Therapy as an Intermodal Practice” covers my professional career as a music therapist and researcher from 2007, and I am thrilled that this work is now available from all good book stores.
On behalf of #TeamFermata, I wish you season’s greetings, and all the best for the New Year. I would also like to thank my incredible team for their dedication, passion and creativity.