MMI and Live Oak Libraries Partner in April for Month of the Military Child
As part of its programs serving the needs of the families of Savannah’s heroic, often deployed servicemen and women, the Music Medicine Institute (MMI) and the Live Oak Public Libraries presented a series of free events to coincide with April’s nationwide celebration of the Month of the Military Child.
Of special note was a one-day program held Saturday, April 16 at the new Southwest Chatham Library located near the Savannah Mall and just outside the Rio Gate of Hunter Army Airfield.
“MMI has a long-standing and continuing commitment to help the children of our fighting men and women cope, through music therapy interventions, with the long and increasingly frequent overseas deployments of their parents,” says Elizabeth Jacobi, founder director the MMI. “Our partnership with the Live Oaks Public Libraries is just one more way we are reaching out to this important and deserving group of our Savannah neighbors.”
Savannah-area Kiwanians and other individuals provided invaluable volunteer support for the entire program.
Below are highlights of the April 16 program:
Throughout the day, children used a variety of musical instruments and imaginative musical activities to learn about teamwork, being kind, staying self-controlled, and making an effort to accomplish positive outcomes.
Jeannelle Benek, MA, HPMT, MT-BC (red blouse), a guest session leader, and the Gathering Drum, made possible through the generosity of the group of very special ladies below.
Guest session leader Denise (Dede) Ondishko, Ph.D.:
"I was very pleased with how comfortable the children were in exploring sound and participating in the games, learning, applauding and laughing together. We are all different, we ae all meeting each other for the first time and yet we work well together making music! The magic and joy of this experience showed on the faces of the children and parents who looked on. I'm so very glad you invited me to participate and lead some of the activities. I look forward to you next event!."
"Great program! I would bring my child again. The idea of mixing music with medicine is brilliant!!! I wish this program can spread throughout the nation so it can benefit more families, especially military families." Miguel Rodriguez, father of Santiago, age 6, who attended every one of the program's seven sessions.
Linda Powell, MM, FAMI, guest session leader, had participating children experience the wonders of stories, music and imagery...
...and in Orff Music activities, a fun way to explore and create music, using xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels to accompany songs and to improvise their own melodies.