News & Stories

A Musical Match

Tori and Claire Riley

CICOA client Tori wanted to try music therapy. Claire Riley, a student at Ball State University studying psychology and music, wanted to learn how to use music therapy techniques.

A family friend suggested that Claire volunteer with CICOA, and she was matched with Tori, one of our clients who has Spina Bifida. The two young women spent the summer creating and enjoying beautiful music.

In addition to attending college, Claire volunteers for a number of organizations, including Johnson Memorial Hospital, the Timmy Foundation, Call to Action and Girl Scouts. Despite her busy schedule, Claire spent time each week researching music therapy activities to try with Tori during their 2-hour, bi-weekly sessions. Claire guided Tori in activities like making simple instruments, rhythm activities, writing lyrics and keyboarding lessons.

Tori said after the sessions she was happier and more energetic. “I loved talking to family and friends about our sessions. Several friends loved hearing stories about what we did and wanted to do it too,” she said.

According to Claire, music therapy has many benefits. “It can help enhance your mood, provide for self-expression, and create more opportunities for social interaction,” Claire said.

Tori sees other benefits of her music therapy experience. “First of all it’s fun! Second, it helps with anxiety and helps to eliminate stress,” Tori said. “And I got a new friend — an added bonus.”