Other Programs

Seniors' centers, special needs groups, at-risk youth, wellness groups, recovery groups, health care settings, and many more

Bringing adults and children together for some rhythmic fun
with my parachute

Program Overview
These programs are designed with a focus on groups with special needs or a specific purpose. Whether it be physical needs, as in the case of seniors, or mental or emotional needs, like children and adults who have suffered a recent tragedy. Each program varies in its focus and methods, based on the needs of the group.

Children’s programs create a safe space for expression and interaction. They might focus on building confidence, expressing feelings, or recovering from loss.

Adult programs lend themselves to many settings. They might focus on recovery, renewing creativity, promoting general well being, or simply relaxing in a safe environment.

Seniors' programs provide an uplifting form of gentle recreation, with no learning curve. The whole experience is designed to promote joy and productivity. The instruments used with seniors groups take into account a wide range of physical needs, and include softer sounding instruments like shakers and small drums with padded sticks. Smiling seniors can even be seen singing a familiar song or two from days gone by.

Related groups I’ve worked with:
Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute
Eastern Mennonite University's Master of Arts in Counseling program
Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR)
Augusta Medical Center Outpatient Services, Fishersville, VA
Generations Crossing
Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Harrisonburg, VA
Virginia Equality Conference
Hero's Journey Programs, Pittsburgh, PA
Open Heart Chiropractic, Bridgewater, VA
Gemeinschaft, Harrisonburg, VA
Waynesboro Seniors' Center
Staunton Seniors' Center
Bridgewater Retirement Community
Hurricane Katrina victims
Incarcerated adults
At risk youth
Bereaved children and adults

What people are saying:
We have been with Mike and his array of drums, shakers, bells and cymbals on numerous occasions.  Our space fills with energy, insight, healing, and connection --  and in our case that is no small feat as we are people from troubled spots around the world finding our way to compassion and peace. Last night, for example, twenty people, fifteen countries and languages, found the common rhythm of the soul.
John Paul Lederach, Ph.D.
Kroc Institute
University of Notre Dame
(Founding director of EMU's Conflict Transformation Program and the Institute for Justice and Peacebuilding)

Mike, The seniors truly enjoyed participating in the drumming. At the start a couple seniors said they weren’t interested, but I was happy to see that they did end up “catching the bug” too and picked up their drums.

I heard many positive comments about how much fun they had. In fact, one senior liked it so much he offered to pay half the cost for the Senior Center to purchase our own set of Sound Shapes! I can’t turn down “50% off” [drums] so they should be on their way to us shortly!

Thanks again for the program.
Janice Gentry, Director
Waynesboro Senior Center
Waynesboro, VA

Thank you so much for your time and energy. I loved the idea of becoming like a community, and the kids enjoyed expressing themselves! Keep up the wonderful work that you do. It is so inspiring!

Angela Fusco
Campus Camp (a camp for young children who had recently lost loved ones)