October 2, 2020
When the Mike Stoller Music Heals program moved to YMF’s Cypress Park facility in early 2019,
we didn’t know quite what to expect. Through the vision of legendary songwriter Mike Stoller, the program began in 2017 in the art studio of influential painter, muralist and Executive Director of Somos LA Arte-Homeboy Art Academy Fabian Debora.
A passionate advocate for the power of art and creativity as fundamental sources of healing, Fabian is also a revered mentor to many of the participants in the program. We did our best to ensure that our new home would feel welcoming, supportive, and most importantly, a safe space where connection to self and other through music could be made.
Our hopes were confirmed after the drum circle on the very first day. The positive energy, the joy, and the connection among participants, Teaching Artists, and even YMF staff was palpable.
The program grew as the year went on. We welcomed many new participants, added classes in signing and songwriting, and featured a few special guests. Participants began collaborating, writing songs, poems and producing them in the music tech lab. And, just a like all every other program described in this newsletter, Music Heals was suspended on March 13.
And like all the posts above, this post, too, will end with the announcement that the Music Heals program has also moved online in mid-April. Instructors have modified their teaching methods and adapted them into an engaging online forum where they share musical performances specifically selected around a theme, chosen weekly. Participants are supported and encouraged to engage and relate to weekly themes through creative self-expression and interacting with instructors and each other.