Leave a mark only you can make. Whether it be a custom song, book, documentary, recording, or something far outside the box, our certified therapists and artistic team are here to help you get this important work done.
Develop your musical self with a Starling Music Instructor, whether it be voice, guitar, bass, ukulele, or songwriting and production. We will best match your needs in a teacher, whether you prefer in-person sessions (in MA and NH) or via web. Learn at your own pace and enjoy mastery with surprising ease when you learn what you love with specialized care.
Create your own song, whether as a personalized gift or for a special occasion. Personalize your favorite songs with your lyrics and receive a studio quality digital or hard-copy recording
goals are flexible, adaptable, and measurable. They are predicated on what will amplify wellness while addressing challenges. Age-appropriate, personally preferred music is utilized, and when that right song reaches home, it is unmistakeable (even noticed in a patient’s slight movement of eyebrows). Music therapy invited someone into the conversation- encouraging expression, creating positive, and confidence- boosting moments, while building a sonic home for safe, successful play. The mother of a child diagnosed with Tay-Sachs who received music therapy from Starling said:
“Tay -Sachs took my son’s voice. It took the fluidity of movement that would allow him to write. I often feel he is trapped in there, separated from the world. Music therapy affords him the means to reach beyond his illness and join in the conversation.”
We help carry out legacy projects and creative time capsules. When it comes to commemorating a special moment or look past at a life of special moments, that bittersweet feeling can often be made easier by knowing we have completed a dream or a creative imprint of who we are. If a patient doesn't have that completed feeling- and many of us won’t arrive there- being able to accomplish an important task helps to provide a sense of closure. Rest comes easier when you have said what you needed to say, especially to the ones who matter most. Most of us tend to put these conversations off until it’s too late.
One woman, diagnosed with stage four cancer in her forties, shared her deep disappointment that her goal of writing a book would not come to fruition. With gentle guiding and prompting, audio answers where transcribed into her envisioned story format. Together, we designed a legacy book for her family, friends, and whomever else might learn of this incredible woman and her life story. It included never-before funny tidbits, major life lesson moments, messages to her children, and pictures of naturally occurring heart shapes she captured in nature on the opposing pages. She called the book “Spirit Heart’ and she reported in her last few days that her heart was happier and more at peace when she finished it. Her family was also incredibly surprised and touched by her gift as they learned details about their relationships, her wishes for them and shimmering little treasures of who she was in story-form
Donna was a spirited hospice patient with stage four lung cancer. She was also a gifted songwriter, although she had never recorded nor written her songs down. In our music therapy sessions, we created sheet music with arrangements true to her initial vision. She also filmed a video performance and was able to proudly and boldly sing it all herself!
Legacy projects can also be small and quick, yet still profound. Some clients leave audio recordings for their families, often times in song capsules. The patient picks a song which holds special meaning and we embed a voice message into the middle of a song. This type of project, which sometimes only takes a few minutes to record with the client, can leave an incredible impact on loved ones. My music therapy supervisor once said that if seeing a picture of a person is like a thumbprint of a life, hearing the voice is the soul. Whether these legacy projects we embark on seem big or small, they positively affect patients and families in enduring ways. They are vehicles to communicate and get unfinished business finished. There is a sense of closure and also comfort, because a person leaves a personal watermark, comforting family and leaving something for posterity.
Starling Creative Arts offers music lessons in voice, guitar, ukulele, and clinical skills for the studying music therapist.
Emphasis is placed on learning and improvising music in a non-threatening environment. Starling upholds the concept that music is a language and is best learned when immersed. Emphasis is based first aurally, and then can deepen into the theory. Goals are devised personally (much likes those in music therapy) with reachable objectives. Goals might include building song repertoire, improving versatility of guitar playing with picking styles, understanding music theory in greater depth, increasing vocal health, pitch control, and performance skills, and honing music therapy techniques (for music therapists). Family sessions are also available for the same price.
Ali Grace Rapetti performs both solo (on vocals, guitar w/looping, mixing, drum technology, etc.) and with various renowned musicians (often under the name Grace and the Rolling 88s) for corporate gigs, weddings, various events, and private parties. She and the band play both original music and a vast array of genres. Concerts can be specialized by themes and based on personal favorites. Audience participation is highly encouraged!
Example: A recent gig in the Berkshires was designed for seasoned Tanglewood Artists to enjoy. In order to keep it interesting, a music trivia game was devised where ten songs from ten different decades were performed. The winner who had the most correct matches of songs to their respective decades received a free personalized song incorporating the couple's favorite genres, significant words, and family philosophy.