Guest Post: A Moment of Pure Joy

Michelle experiences what music feels like

Mosaic works to help people we serve have new experiences in life. This story, shared by Direct Support Supervisor Catherine Reineke from Mosaic in Colorado Springs, shows how life-changing that can be.

I wanted to tell you about our activity with Melissa Devolve of Little Hearts Big Music.  Melissa arranged to have a recital for day program at Ascension Lutheran Church.

One of the people in service with us was Michelle Alexander. Michelle is deaf and didn't really understand what was going on. She told me she found it boring. Well, of course!

Then, one of the boys let her put her hand on his violin while he played. She looked like she’d felt an electric shock. Michelle could feel the musical vibrations through the instrument.

Melissa said we should try the grand piano and asked one of her students to play so that Michelle could feel it.  She was reluctant at first and we had to give her plenty of encouragement to touch the piano.

When the student began to play, Michelle’s body language changed drastically.  For the most part, she is in constant motion – signing her thoughts and feelings with fervor – but Michelle was suddenly still.

I nudged her over and helped her lay her upper body over the top of the piano. Then, I gently put her head on it.  She was motionless as she ‘listened’ to music for the first time in her life.

It was one of those moments that was overwhelming. The pure joy made us all weep.

Melissa told me that she's been running Little Hearts Big Music for about five years, and although she had a few truly memorable moments, this was really huge.  Not only had this been life changing for Michelle, but the student who played the piano as well. The girl it turned out was debilitating shy and the interaction with someone we serve helped her come out of her shell.

This is why we do what we do.  We don't change the world – we change moments, one at a time.   The people we serve wrap these moments up and put them in their vault for the rest of their lives.  It's something good they can take out and pass around when things aren't going so well.

I went home and teared up again as I told my husband about my day.

I feel so lucky – this really is what it's all about!

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