My name is Kathy and my two sons, Issac and Joseph, are enrolled in SWAN. Their father is incarcerated and will likely serve time throughout their grade school and high school years. For that reason, I am grateful that SWAN serves them as a support group but I am also grateful for the musical training that my boys are receiving. Issac & Joseph suffer from ADHD but Isaac also experiences anxiety and has issues with anger.

“Music makes us feel happy, excited, cool, amazing, energetic and joyful.”

When Joseph began taking SWAN music lessons it quickly became his favorite class. He made sure he never missed it. When SWAN offered a summer camp, Issac joined his brother and I see the influence of music affecting their everyday life experience. One of the things I saw right away was their love for music. They asked for a ukulele and I was able to give them one. They happily started learning how to play it in their classes. Both Issac and Joseph became noticeably calmer. As they were immersed in singing and hand-drumming they started expressing themselves through song and rhythm at home. When I asked them questions, they would answer me using melody and rhythm. I noticed that it became an ongoing, creative outlet for them daily. I hear them talk to one another only using songs, melodies and rhythm in the most creative ways for long periods of time. Sometimes they say, “Wait a second, I made a mistake. Let me try that again.” Then they work on improving their new musical dialog. The calmness that they are experiencing positively impacts them and our household. The fact that they are so enthusiastic about music points to a natural talent. They did not want the SWAN summer classes to end but they are enrolled for the school year. We all look forward to having their newly discovered talents further developed and expressed.