Creative Arts Therapies
Art therapy and Music therapy are offered on a weekly basis at Widener Memorial School through collaboration with The Kardon Center for Arts Therapy at Settlement Music School. Creative Arts therapies allow students to use their senses to open new channels of communication with peers, teachers and the greater community.
Students work with Art therapist Marissa DeVita and Music therapist Caryn Widrick to increase self-expression, increase communication, build self-esteem, and gain coping skills for dealing with various challenges.
In the art therapy program, we have created several community murals throughout the school, using paints, ceramic tiles and mosaics. Through working with varied art media, students learn art skills while expressing themselves in a colorful and fun way. This year we are working on a collaborative project based on the story “Only One You”, where students and faculty are decorating rocks to reflect their individual and unique personalities. The rocks will be on display at Widener to reflect the diversity and strengths of the school community. Art Therapy groups and individual sessions are also offered as needed to provide students with a natural and safe outlet for expressing emotions, to enhance peer relationships and to build cognitive and expressive skills. In the music therapy program, students participate in active and receptive music experiences during weekly sessions. Each session is tailored to the individuals and specific needs of the groups. A typical session may include activities such as playing rhythm instruments, moving to music, singing or vocalizing, expressing musical choice and active listening. Students’ strengths are often apparent during the creative process allowing for enhancement of areas including non-verbal communication, self-expression, cognitive and physical stimulation, interactive responses, vocal production and on-task behaviors.