Forty-six participants – including therapeutic recreation students, therapeutic recreation professionals and community members – came to campus in May to learn how to connect seniors to rhythm at a recreational therapist facilitator training program called Lulujam. This training, led by musical educator Lulu Leathley, has a scientifically-documented medical, emotional and even spiritual benefit and can bring seniors, clients and their families together. Participants learned skills and activities to promote participation in drumming, rhythmic body movements, auditory stimulation, playing musical instruments, singing and chanting – all with a therapeutic purpose.
“I was amazed at the active participation I saw by all who attended,” says Kathie Ervin, an instructor in the Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology program who called the workshop one of the most beneficial training programs she has been involved in. “After the workshop, I could see how this drumming/music making could be used with all ages and disabilities in therapeutic recreation services, and also how this could be used to build teamwork, collaboration and relationships of employees in any workplace.” Ervin adds that the Therapeutic Recreation – Gerontology program will explore future training with Leathley for students and practitioners.