Children from Mount St. Vincent Home in northwest Denver were treated to a musical performance “Drums of the World” Dec. 1 at Boettcher Concert Hall, compliments of the Colorado Symphony. It was the first symphony experience for most of the children, and for some, it was a potential benefit to their development as well.
“Because our kids come from homes where they experienced abuse or neglect, the vast majority of them have never been to a circus, parade, or even a high school play, much less a symphony concert,” explained Kirk Ward, clinical director. “Repetition and rhythm both stimulate brain development, so this concert in particular was beneficial to our children. Plus the experience of attending a cultural event like this was a real treat for the kids.”
The treatment facility that serves children who suffer from abuse, neglect or mental illness—and has been run by Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth since 1883—received a gift of 20 tickets from the symphony. The event featured percussion musicians, who demonstrated various rhythms and syncopations using instruments from around the world.
“I can’t believe how fast they can move their hands, and play, while holding four sticks!” one of the children attending responded.
The symphony was delighted to welcome the children, according to Jerry H. Kern, CEO of the Colorado Symphony and co-chair of the board of trustees.
“Music is so powerful, and healing,” he said. “We know these kids are never going to forget their first experience of seeing an orchestra live.”
Mount St. Vincent is a leader in the application of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and trauma-informed care. The agency is one of only four organizations worldwide designated as a flagship site for NMT, as designated by the ChildTrauma Academy of Houston, Texas. Mount St. Vincent’s provides residential, day and in-home treatment; parent education, a kindergarten through eighth-grade school and a community early learning center. For more information, visit www.msvhome.org.