Residents at the Golden Age Home in West Bay enjoyed a live music session as part of a new Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Cayman Music and Entertainment Association (CMEA) initiative.
The performance on Thursday, 2 May 2019 was the first, in what is planned as a series of regular events and singalongs at several of the DCFS’ residential homes, according to the department’s Director Paulinda Mendoza-Williams.
Musician and producer Stuart Wilson (acoustic guitar), and Elon Ebanks Jr. (electric guitar) sang a medley of self-penned ballads and well-known hymns, accompanied by Robert Ebanks (bongo drums). Encouraged to join in, several of the home’s residents and staff sang and clapped in time to the songs.
“DCFS is extremely excited about our partnership with the Cayman Music and Entertainment Association,” Mrs. Mendoza-Williams explained.
“The Association has agreed to provide music therapy to the residents of our facilities. We instinctively know that music soothes the soul and brings joy. Now increasing clinical evidence shows that music therapy can also reduce stress and anxiety and enhance emotional, physical and cognitive health. The department expects this to be a long and mutually beneficial relationship with CMEA members,” the director added.
Following the performance, one of the most enthusiastic participants said, “Well it was a real treat, I must say.”
“It couldn’t have been better. I wish it could have gone on longer. I particularly liked Some Sweet Day I’ll Fly Away and “What A Friend I have in Jesus,” she noted.
Fellow Golden Age Home resident agreed saying. “It was very nice. It gave us a great experience and was very entertaining.”
CMEA’s President, Jeán-Eric Smith, attended the event with the Ministry of Community Affairs’ Chief Officer, Teresa Echenique, and the DCFS Director.
He confirmed that his association was keen to see the volunteer music therapy programme rolled out across the Cayman Islands.
“CMEA is a non-profit organisation and part of our remit is to provide social outreach of this kind. All members are required to perform at at least one charitable event a year, so we are pleased that we can fulfil that obligation of giving back to our community by working closely with the DCFS,” he said.