Lily, 15 – Music Therapy

At 15 year’s old, Lily is a very happy and positive girl with an infectious energy and spirit.  She was born with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition that causes developmental delays and learning disabilities.  These challenges often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities, and for Lily, an affinity for music. According to her dad, Tim, she has always had, “…a deep love of music, like it was genetically programmed in her.”

Because of Lily’s love of music, her parents tried music therapy at MacPhail to help develop non-musical goals. Her mom, Laura, explains, “Initially we were working on fine motor skills and gross motor skills, it was a focus on the therapy aspect, and not so much the music. When she first came here she had a little bit of an awkward walk, and within two lessons, the therapist had fixed it.”

Jessica, her current music therapist, notes the importance of skills transferring over to her everyday life. “It’s been really cool to see how she has developed from playing with one finger, to playing with both hands, and both at the same time. As a musician that is great to see, but as a therapist, it is important that those skills are transitioning to school and home, because it’s all neurologically tied together.”

According to her mom, she can see how those skills are coming out in her everyday life. “Now that Lily is older and she’s playing more music, I’ve noticed that she is less fatigued when she does school work and reading, she is able to concentrate for longer periods of time and music offers an activity that she wouldn’t otherwise have, and that is very important.”