At Smile Serenades, patients can use music as a tool to unlock expression and create new connections with their fellow patients and staff.
Through a partnership launched in June 2017, Smile Theatre sent two performers each week to CAMH’s inpatient units for sing-a-longs with patients as groups or individuals.
Recently, the six-week Smile Serenades program was launched on five CAMH units, including two Geriatrics units, the Integration Rehab Unit, and two Forensic units.
“Not only did the patients faces light up when the theatre performers entered the unit and began singing to them, but so did all the staff’s,” says Quinn Kirby, Gifts of Light manager. “We noticed an immediate shift in the environment as people came out of their rooms, sang along and even danced with our performers and one another. It was truly one of the highlights I have had working in this program.”
The performers have raved about their shifts at CAMH. Following the completion of the six-week pilot, Gifts of Light approved an additional seven weeks of the program this summer.