Music to spark a better life for older adults and preschoolers

Posts tagged ‘social media’

Happy Second Birthday!

Music Sparks is two years old. 

It has been a great year – both in Hays and in social media.  

Here in Hays, I have had great fun regularly providing group music therapy services at some area assisted living facilities including a very successful intergenerational group at one facility. Being invited to take part in the Family Fun Fest at the Mall was an absolute blast! The fall Saturday morning class was great fun for me and the boys who attended. I am also thankful for the opportunity to volunteer some time during the year in the Good Samaritan Alzheimer’s unit – New Horizons.

Social media wise, things are booming. Our Facebook page has reached over 100 “likes”. As of June 2011, SPARKS is now a bi-weekly newsletter providing resources for preschoolers, older adults and intergenerational programs around different themes. And, as of today, Music Sparks has a new website: music2spark. Do check out the new site!

I am so thankful I found Laura Crum who is assisting me in the process, and providing guidance. I also have a lot of people who have served as mentors in social media:

Things only look for exciting for Music Sparks this coming year. As I announced in May, there are lots of changes coming. The intergenerational program will now be known as Music Sparks: Sharing Songs. Beginning in September there will be an additional evening session. For children 18 months through age 3 I will offer Music Sparks: Discover one morning a week. And, the Saturday morning class for 5-6 year olds will reappear as Music Sparks: Exploration. (Click here to check the Preschool Class page for details.)

Older adults not in Assisted Living aren’t forgotten. I am working on some group music opportunities just for you! The best place for you to find out about upcoming sessions is the Older Adult tab.  

Thank you to all who read this blog. I’ll see you from now on at the new, improved site  – Music 2 Spark!

Social (Media) Niceties

Growing up in the South, I was taught that introductions are an important social interaction and skill.  There’s even a formula for the proper introduction: state your name, throw in some social niceties, explain how you happen to be there chatting with them, connect your interests and goals with theirs’, make tentative future plans and finally end with a nice firm handshake.  Well, that’s all fine and Yankee Doodle Dandy, but no one ever taught me how to make a good introduction into a new (to me) online community.  Does a new media introduction still conform to these socially created standards?  Only one way to find out!

State your name: “Hi, I’m Laura.”

Seems to be going okay so far….

Throw in some social niceties: “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”  “What an adorable baby!”  “Some weather we’ve been having recently, isn’t it?”

Really? I brought up the weather to an online global audience? Let’s keep going, maybe they won’t notice…

Explain how you happen to be here: “I am fortunate to get the chance to combine forces with JoAnn Jordan and hang out on her blog for the next little bit.  If you’re interested in music therapy, health, wellness, caregiving or any other related topic, it’s likely I’ll be stopping by to visit your blog, too.  You’ll probably also see me lurking around twitter (@LauraCrum1) and the MusicSparks Facebook page. “

Great, I said lurking.  Now they think I’m creepy.  Okay, don’t panic, just get back on track….

Connect your interests and goals to theirs’: “While I am not a music therapist, I am a music lover.  I am lucky enough to have grown up in a musical household and to have witnessed firsthand the way music can create an interpersonal connection between individuals and deepen intrapersonal understanding.  More than that, I believe in wellness, harmony with ourselves and others, and personal growth, all of which are some of the intentions of music therapy.  I also believe that through social media, we can discover and draw connections that might otherwise have passed us by.”

Alright, that was mostly coherent! Maybe they’ve forgotten about the lurking awkwardness…

Make future plans: “Over the next several weeks, I will be looking around, learning more about the online music therapy group and related communities.  I want to hear your perspectives, learn from your experience and have the opportunity to share ideas back and forth.”

That’s it, girl, almost there!  Just one more step!

End with a firm handshake:  …?

Okay, so the old standard doesn’t fit seamlessly into new media (maybe a virtual high-five would have been better than the standard handshake?) but the intent is there and I am sincerely pleased to make your acquaintance!

What’s your favorite way to connect with others online? Do you prefer Twitter over Facebook?  Are there any topics or ideas that you would like to see brought up for discussion?


~Laura, Guest Blogger

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