Derek Hart (standing) leads a music therapy session at the Step By Step Wellness program. A program of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, the Step By step Wellness program offers a variety of services to adults diagnosed with a mental illness.

Music lifts Step By Step Program participants

Derek Hart (standing) leads a music therapy session at the Step By Step Wellness program. A program of Catholic Charities of Oswego County, the Step By step Wellness program offers a variety of services to adults diagnosed with a mental illness.

Participants in the Step By Step Wellness program are discovering the joy and power of music.

Established by Peer Generalist Derrick Hart, the program’s new music therapy sessions have been a welcome addition to the programs and activities that the Step By Step Wellness program offers its participants.

Since joining the Step By Step Wellness program, Hart, who himself is a musician, has been anxious to begin a music program.  It is a program that he has built from scratch with Hart contributing some instruments and leading the sessions.

“Music is a very important part of my life,” said Hart. “I enjoy sharing my love of music with others and seeing the smiles on their faces.”

The Step By Step Wellness program’s music therapy sessions include both structured and unstructured formats.  Hart said that members have access to instruments at various other times as well.

“We have received tremendously positive feedback from participants regarding our music therapy sessions,” he said. “They enjoy coming together to make music and appreciate each other’s company and talents.”

According to Step By Step Wellness program Coordinator Pam Peeling, the music therapy sessions are an excellent addition to the many presentations and workshops that the program offers.

“The Step By Step Wellness program uses a wellness recovery model that provides an variety of services to adults diagnosed with a mental illness,” she said. “Our wide array of services, which include; exercise classes, life enrichment classes, fun time, and now music therapy, are focused to support clients with their recovery, promote wellness, and combat the stigma of mental illness.  These programs help individuals increase their self-esteem, establish group affiliations, and maintain independence in the community.”

The Step By Step Wellness Program is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Workshops and other programs are open to all clients.  Those seeking more information may call Peeling at 598-3980, ext. 251.

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