Radford student seeks instruments to rock therapy
Eric Stachelski is looking to start a new music group, but not for the purpose of scoring a No. 1 hit.
In January 2013, the Radford University graduate student is planning to start a rock band-style musical therapy group for local, at-risk adolescents and is seeking some help to make it happen.
Throughout November, Stachelski and the music therapy program at Radford University, alongside the Radford University Foundation, will hold an instrument drive in hopes of collecting rock band-style instruments to be used for the group. They are particularly looking for electric and bass guitars, electronic keyboards and drum sets, Stachelski said.
Stachelski, who served as a music educator for 10 years prior to entering the RU program, said that in the broadest sense, music therapy promotes mental and physical health, while also helping to enhance patients’ social skills.
He said typical music therapy programs are only able to provide patients with easily assessable instruments, such as hand drums, but he believes providing a wider variety of “cool” instruments will make the experience more attractive for his target adolescent audience.
Make no mistake about it though, music therapy isn’t music lessons. Stachelski said that while some basic education about the instruments would be provided, the goal would not be to achieve a certain level of performance.
“What I want to do is to create a successful experience as soon as possible,” Stachelski said.
In Stachelski’s eyes, success would mean a student is regularly attending sessions, is actively engaged during them, and is demonstrating some level of growth from session to session.
He added that there would be no prerequisite of music knowledge to participate in the program and said he believed having no preconceived notions of what music should sound like could be beneficial.
“This ensemble is not to create a product. It’s not about playing Green Day’s ‘When September Comes’ perfect. It’s about interacting musically,” Stachelski said.
Stachelski believes that interaction can play a critical role in helping adolescents do better, both socially and academically.
“I believe in the power of music, and I believe this will help students achieve better success,” he said.
Instruments can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Radford University Music Department office in Covington Hall 103 or at MusicVisions in Roanoke by contacting Jim Borling at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tax deductions are available for all donations.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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