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A16 Wednesday, August 1, 2012, Tri-City News


CONTACT Janis Warren email: phone: 604-472-3034 fax: 604-944-0703

Violet aims for Vogue

By Janis Warren

Fourth instalment in the Bright Yo u n g T h i n g s series, which highlights recent graduates who are pursuing careers in the performing or visual arts.

Top left, music therapist Cristine Bostrom leads the adult Glee choir in song at Mewsic Moves in Maillardville. Above, Chase and Manuel belt out You Are My Sunshine, with caregivers watching from behind them. Below, Roxanne and Manuel have fun while Rebecca sways to the beat with a musical instrument in hand.

Making the music connection

By Janis Warren

rom her electric piano in the cor ner of the room, Cristine Bostrom starts the class with a series of stretches b e fo re l a u n ch i n g i n t o vo c a l w a r m - u p s. From there, she leads the four adults and their caregivers in a round of song over the next hour, beginning with You Are My Sunshine and The Muppet e Song. A Kelly Clarkson tune soon follows. Some read from their song sheets; others sway to the beat, or gesture. Its all good fun for the Glee choir but, most importantly, its helping the four developmentally disabled adults with their mental, physical and emotional functioning. Registered clinical counsellor John Mews, the executive director of Mewsic Moves, a private practice in Maillardville, said music therapy is especially beneficial for people with special needs as it aids with their language cognition a point reinforced by Coquitlams Shelley Balachanoff, who has seen her 28-year-old autistic son, Chase, blossom since starting lessons. He is very inspired by music, she said. He has been absorbing different types of music, too. He hears the radio in the car and he can follow along with the words because he remembers the lyrics from the song sheets in the class. Now, he looks at the newspaper and recognizes those words. Its just been phenomenal, she said. Mews Glee choir is also unique as its one of the few programs available to adults with developmental disabilities (most activities are streamlined to people under 18). As well, the adult Glee choir is endorsed by Community Living BC and was featured in its April newsletter, The Citizen. Mews said the first adult Glee choir, which started in the spring, wrapped up in May with

five participants recording a CD with eight tracks. They picked the songs they wanted to sing and all of them had good messages. It was very personal and beautiful, he said. And this fall, Mews plans to expand his music therapy programs by offering Glee Club for children, Korean choir, drumming for teens, early toddler intervention with music, and music for parents of children with special needs. Speaking of the latter program, Mews said, Not only will it give the parents a short break during week, but it will teach them how to play Music is .... uniting. Its bonding. My goal is to make families feel empowered. Mews musical background started at the age of three at church. Over the years, his mother a singer encouraged him to study music; he wanted to practice medicine. During his third year of his bachelors degree,

majoring in piano, at Memorial University in Newfoundland, a professor asked Mews if he would carry on with his masters in music. I said, No way. Im going to apply for med school, the Vancouver resident remembered telling her. I didnt want to perform. She suggested music therapy a stream she had , wanted to pursue. Mews looked around and found Capilano University had a bachelor of music therapy degree. He completed that program and, in 2004, he opened a private practice in Port Moody . Now, Mews has 40 clients ranging in age from three to 35, with funding in part from the provincial government and the Autism Funding Unit of BC. Music therapy is a lifeline. It can do so much, he said. Theres a lot of research about music and the brain in terms of motivation, stimulation and communication, and wI think were just on the cusp of learning how much it has to offer.

Violet Patrich is choked with SFU. The Dr. Charles Best secondary graduate was accepted into the Burnaby schools contemporary arts program but didnt have the marks to get into the institution itself. It really sucked, the 18 year old said plainly, with her head down. They we re l i ke, We want you but you have to get into SFU first. Patrich took the news in stride and instead signed up for psychology and womens studies courses this fall at Douglas College in New Westminster, where she lives. You know, its okay, because its important for me to focus on content as well for my art. It all ties in together. And Patrich does spend a lot of time thinking and dreaming about her craft and how it provokes thought. Earlier this year, she entered three photographs into Emerging Talent XV an annual festi, val at Coquitlams E v e r g r e e n
see PATRICH, page 18 C , g 8

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