Category : #TeamFermata

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Step-By-Step Learning Open Day

SBSL Open House Poster

Thank you to the families that took the time to come and meet us last weekend for our Open House to share our new program, Step-By-Step Learning.  Also, thank you for the canned food donations, which were taken to the local food bank.  For more info on SBSL, email Johanna Henderson, Program Manager,

Fermata present a new program; Art Therapy: When Words Are Not Enough

Art Therapy Logo Pic

Fermata Inc. is pleased to announce a registered art therapist is joining our team! With an educational background in Occupational Therapy and Psychology, our newest team member combines her education and passion to create a unique approach to Art Therapy, focusing on senior citizens in Long Term Care.

Art therapy naturally enables the expression of feelings and thoughts through the use basic art materials to facilitate communication and expression. It can be extremely helpful for the expression of feelings and thoughts that are difficult to put into words. Other benefits of art therapy include: cognitive stimulation, stress relief, increased ability to cope emotions, improved self-awareness and personal insight, elevation of mood, increased self-esteem, the development of coping skills, improved problem solving skills, increased ability to focus, and a sense of joy and well-being.

Art Therapy will be offered onsite in care homes for senior residents, offering individual and group workshops.  Private sessions are also available for children and young adults.

More details to come shortly on a new page in ‘Our Programs’.  For info about the Art Therapy program, please contact us.

Fermata Featured in ‘The Sherman Hub News’ Community Newspaper in Hamilton


Fermata has been featured in the 2015/2016 edition of Hamilton community newspaper, Sherman Hub News.

Sherman Hub Article Dec 2015 Sherman Hub Front


Full text here:

Fermata Inc. is a special kind of local business. Providing music therapy, specially adapted music lesson, educational tutorials for students with special needs, life skills coaching for adults with developmental disabilities, recreational therapy programs for seniors in long term care homes and palliative care services to families, no two days are alike for the team at Fermata.

Owned by newcomer to Hamilton, Daniel Hyams PhD, Fermata has been calling Hamilton home since the mid-2000s. After relocating to Hamilton on December 30, 2012, Daniel Hyams decided to flex his entrepreneurial skills (who, in fact, had never owned a business before!) and set up home and business in Hamilton. “I decided to move to Canada in 2008, and the immigration process took 4 years. When it came in 2012, I had 6 months to move, and Hamilton seemed like a good place to start. Once I arrived, I knew I wanted to stay”, Hyams said. “The business was a good way of getting to know the community, whilst offering services that have tremendous value”.

Fermata is made up of a team of full time music therapists, educators, and contributors from the fields of speech therapy, behavioral therapy, music psychology and recreational services. Music therapists are trained specifically and become accredited. Educators come from a range of backgrounds, but have that ability to make learning fun and impactful.

Based at 533 Main Street East, at the beginning of 2015, programs were relocated to 533 to share space with community partners Lawson Ministries and Autism Ontario, Hamilton. By sharing the space, Fermata has created a one-stop shop where families can engage in other service providers and seek the support they need.

The backbone of Fermata is the community partners. Working with over 20 partners across Hamilton, Niagara and the GTA, Fermata predominately works on site in Long Term Care homes. Providing both individual and group music programs as part of the recreation program, Fermata music therapists work alongside staff and residents to provide an expressive outlet that encompasses live music making, group interaction and a positive social experience.

Fermata also works with Hamilton Health Sciences. Providing the first, ever, music therapy program at McMaster Children’s Hospital, music therapist Bonnie Brittain works across numerous wards to provide children with life-threatening challenges to provide a positive and enriching experience whilst in hospital.

At 533, Eric Ryder Costello provides the ‘No Bounds’ program. These are specially adapted music lesson for people with special needs. Using music to teach, Eric focuses on life and social skills learning so that students can apply their music skills to other part of their educational and social learning.

Johanna Henderson provides Ste-By-Step Learning at 533 and at home visits, and these are 1-2-1 tutorials for all curriculum-based subjects. Johanna is a qualified and accredited teacher with Ontario, and has received additional training in special education.

Digital Art Therapy program in The Spec

Fermata’s community partners, Lawson, were featured in the Hamilton Spectator.  Their innovative Digital Art Therapy program, facilitated by Dr. Olena Darewych, has been seen by many in the academic  world as a step forward in working with adults with developmental disabilities using art as a form of communication and expression.  Click here for the link.

PS.  Dr’s. Darewych & Hyams undertook their PhDs together! This partnership between Lawson and Dr. Darewych was made possible by an introduction by Daniel!

Fermata offers new program for special education ‘Step-By-Step Learning’

This month, Fermata offers a new program called ‘Step-By-Step Learning’.  This new initiative provides one-to-one educational tutorials for children and young adults with special needs in all subjects and follows school curriculum.

Speaking about Step-Bt-Step, Fermata owner Daniel Hyams said, “I have always felt that our music programs have offered something more than ‘just music’, and that much of the work my team provides has value in what students are learning at school, so I hope that by offering tutorials with a key focus in special education in a social setting, young people will have a greater chance at succeeding later in life”.

See the attached PDF for more information.


Johanna H – StepByStep StepByStep

Summer Music Program with Autism Ontario

This summer break, we have facilitated a summer program in partnership with Autism Ontario (Hamilton Chapter).  Offering music groups for families at no cost, this allows youth with special needs to engage in music/group participation and an enriching experience to be creative and social.  Thanks to Autism Ontario for your support.

Here are some images of ‘No Bounds’ program co-ordinator, Eric, leading both group and individual projects.

AO 2015 #2

AO 2015 #3AO 2015 #1




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