Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community
 

Empowerment Through Music: Ryann Patrus ’15 at Melodic Connections

I have been working at an organization called Melodic Connections. This organization provides music therapy to individuals with disabilities. They aim to provide this therapy at low to no cost to the clients they serve. Working in this environment has had a profound impact on my life and career path.

I have known for sometime that I want to work with individuals with disabilities but I did not really understand fully how this work would affect my life. Having a disability myself, I wanted to find a place that served people with disabilities in a respectful way that did not underestimate their potential or treat them like children. I understand how frustrating these stereotypes of disabilities are and I didn’t want to be a part of the problem.

My position at Melodic Connections has affirmed that there are places out there that really do have profound impact. The clients that attend the conservatory are treated with respect and the therapists cater to their individual needs. The clients perform concerts to the public to build confidence and showcase the work that these individuals have achieved. Witnessing these concerts has been the highlight of my time here. The sense of accomplishment is apparent and it is a tangible example of what this community can do given accessible resources.

I am not sure exactly what I will do as a career but whatever it may be I want it to be working toward abolishing the idea that people with disabilities are incapable of achieving things or are just icons of inspiration. These individuals work diligently to make awesome music. This organization is a great example of how we can change the stigma of disability and be a part of the solution.

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