Episcopal SeniorLife Communities and The Hochstein School recently teamed up to offer a holiday performance for senior residents, families and guests at the Episcopal Church Home in Rochester.
Performers were ESLC staff employed in support services who don’t often have opportunities to interact directly with residents. The Inspirational Ensemble represents six departments.
The rehearsals were part of an ongoing music therapy initiative — part of Hochstein’s Expressive Arts Department: Wellness Through Creativity — and a program that ESLC has offered its employees for seven years.
Participants joined the group and this performance was a culmination of their efforts. The group collaborated and decided on Inspirational Ensemble as its name in 2013.
“This program continues to make a difference with the staff,” said Amanda Teugeman, administrator at the Episcopal Church Home. “It’s great to see that they are recognizing and accepting differences, and have become quite a cohesive group over the years. It’s so exciting to see how much the residents enjoy these performances year after year.”
Hochstein found the unifying musical experience creates a safe place for teams to experience the power of working together to achieve a common objective; participants experience the importance of collaboration and listening to one another, as well as learn the value of their own individual contribution within the group; and music and rhythm build a noncompetitive community where employees develop a greater awareness of themselves in relation to others, often leading to greater confidence in their own abilities and greater self-esteem.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with this choir and the ESLC community as a whole,” said Jennifer Phillips, expressive arts department chair at Hochstein. “The ensemble members are truly inspiring in their camaraderie, support and encouragement of one another as they work together, both as musicians and in the workplace. As one member said, rehearsing together truly is the perfect way to start the day.”