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skills by improving his arm and hand movements behind the drum set. But he's also been able to explore an emotional side of the therapy.
"I was really depressed in the summer of 2006," Shaw explained as he talked about his attempted suicide.
Christian Shaw used to love to drum but he lost interest after his father's death which sent him deep into depression. Now he's Converse Low Cut back behind a drum set after trying Converse Girls White
"I don't know. I just finally had a breaking point. I don't even remember doing it, I just went into a trance and I ended up climbing up a tower and jumping off from about 60 feet. I broke my neck."
Schenstead refers to her work as 'the best job in the world' able to address people's needs, be it cognitive, social, mental, physical, emotional or even spiritual. She assesses a patient and then they are able to set out a goal for what they want to accomplish. For Shaw, his sessions allow him to work on developing physical Converse Shoes Black And Blue
Healing through music
Although she specialized in what's called psychotherapeutic techniques, Schenstead also works with World War II veterans suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia to help them bring back memories.
"I took (drum) lessons when I was about 16 years old and I liked it then. Then my dad passed away and I just lost interest in a lot of things. I found out about the drums here (at WRC) and I thought maybe I could learn how to play them again even though I can't use my legs to perform some of the peddle work. I could at least use my arms and play what I could," Shaw recalled.
to end his own life seven years ago.
Schenstead gives credit to Shaw for helping her learn a lot about the music therapy process, and music itself.
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That's when the music therapist started looking at how to adapt the drum set and sticks to Shaw's needs.
His wheelchair barely fits behind the yellow Pearl drum set. The floor tom has been removed so Shaw's wheels can fit under the other drums. Special straps hold the drumsticks onto Shaw's hands since he can no longer use his fingers. And when the music starts, he hits the crash symbol and starts a steady beat.
"I originally shared a poem I wrote for my dad with Amanda and she thought it would be kind of neat if we could make a song out of it. I was pretty hesitant at first because I didn't know how we could make that kind of poem into something that would sound decent. After a couple of months I kind of came around to itI put the drums down and she put the guitar down," Shaw explained.
"It's been awesome for me for my self confidence and just my self worth," Shaw said about the program, "that I can still drum and do something I love to doI used to love playing drums when I was younger and now that I'm able to return to it it's been really therapeutic for me and has really helped me mentally."
later, Shaw is back behind the drums, surprised at how much music therapy has helped in his recovery both physically and mentally. It's healing that Schenstead has seen before as she uses music therapy to help clients express themselves and work through whatever issues may be bothering them.
"A session may consist of, maybe discussion first of all if a client comes in with an issue, we talk about it. Then we go to the music and we see if there's a way to express whatever they're having trouble with at the time," Schenstead explained.
"As a musical therapist, that's part of what you do," Schenstead said, "you learn about your clients and what their musical background and their interests are all about so you can suit their needs in a musical way that helps them."
"It gives them something to discuss. If you bring in something drastically different that they've never heard before you can always discuss lyrics. Or you can talk about the music and how it made them feel and what it brought up for them."
"You're working on goals of cognitive stimulation, reminiscence, anything to bring their memories to the forefront and find out who they are," Schenstead said.
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