The music program at Ironwood has been fueled in large part by the talent, enthusiasm, and the interest of the residents themselves. There are two types of groups that are a part of the current music program at Ironwood: music appreciation and performance. All residents first arriving at the Frye campus participate in music appreciation while residents at the Farmhouse participate in both music appreciation and performance groups and choose their level of participation.
Music appreciation often takes the form of music listening time, during which residents listen to music spanning all genres of the musical continuum, often challenging the teens to explore music that they otherwise might never have heard. During listening time, residents are each asked about their favorite aspect of every song – even those songs that they do not like. These listening exercises are designed to broaden residents’ interests and learn to appreciate the variety of music that exists.
Performance group is the time devoted to preparing for Family Weekend. Residents have a variety of musical instruments available, and teens are also permitted and encouraged to use their own instruments. The director draws on each resident’s skills and interests, exploring many different genres. Songs for performance are often chosen from those that have been listened to during music appreciation group. Residents work on both solo and small group songs to perform for their families, and are supported in using their own talent to pull the program together. Those who participate in performance group but who do not want to perform at Parents Weekend often provide valuable feedback to their peers about things they could try or improve upon.
“Listen” by Nate Powers
We are honored to share this original song from a former Ironwood resident who has so much potential to make our world a better place. These lyrics represent the fragile needs that exist within all of us and further, the family transitional growth that we hope to see for all Ironwood residents and family members. “Trust”, “Time”, “Change”, “Family”, “Not Alone”, “Love”, and “Listen”. Nate offers up his appeal for hope, openness and the desire for better, more inclusive days ahead. When we contemplated sharing this song, we spoke to this resident and his parents specifically to seek permission AND to discuss the protection of their privacy. This resident and his parents OK’d the share, but both would have none of this discussion around privacy. This resident is proud of his accomplishments and wants the world to hear his voice. His parents share his pride and they are grateful for their Ironwood family experience, giving us full freedom to share this song in any way that might help their son and others. So, there you have it. Please “LISTEN” to this original piece written and performed by Nate Powers.