Music therapist brings energy, enjoyment to LARC every week

Twice a week, LARC’s Day Services Program participants at both the Main Street and Migeon Street LARC locations, engage in a lively hour of music. Music therapist Meg Capen, right, is joined by Larry Dickinson during a recently music therapy class.

TORRINGTON — Twice a week, LARC’s Day Services Program participants at both the Main Street and Migeon Street LARC locations, engage in a lively hour of music.

Meg Capen, a board-certified music therapist, hands out tambourines, a xylophone, and hand-held drums, before picking up her acoustic guitar and leading the musicians in song. By all accounts, the program is a great success.

“Meg brings so much energy,” said Mary Ellen Kunz, Development and Marketing director at LARC. “As soon as she starts playing her guitar, her fans join right in making their own music.”

Capen began providing music therapy at LARC about a month , after being brought to LARC’s attention by one of the organization’s board members, Sarah Dziedzic, assistant vice president at Union Savings Bank.

Dziedzik says she met Capen at a Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Leads meeting.

“Making music therapy a program component of LARC’s day services was one of the goals of LARC’s Development Committee, of which I am a member, so it was a great coincidence that Meg and I met,” she said.

Capen provides music therapy through her own private practice and at Southbury Training School, where she has shared her talents and expertise since 1987.

“I have a wonderful time at LARC,” Capen said. “The staff and all of the individuals are great to work with and are always ready to join in.”

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, providing emotional support and an outlet for expression of feelings.

The Arc of Litchfield County (LARC) is a nonprofit agency in Northwest Connecticut founded in 1964 by families to support loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Guided by a vision of Community for All, LARC promotes individual empowerment, choice, respect, and dignity.

On a daily basis, LARC serves more than 200 individuals with disabilities throughout Northwest Connecticut. Services include residential group homes, in-home supports, transportation, day and employment programs. LARC’s Social Enrichment program provides critical respite and recreational opportunities for 120 such as group outings, social gatherings, and Special Olympics. LARC’s Camp MOE program provides an integrated day camp setting for more than 300 children to develop friendships, leadership skills, responsibility for self, and respect for others.

Connecticut Media Group