On Wednesday, November 18th, Reid Moriarty performed a 4-song set at the St. Louis ARC to promote his debut album Purple Party.
From the CD’s back cover:
When Reid was 6, Angela came to his house to teach him ways to say hello, how to take turns, and even math facts through music. When Reid was 10, they performed around San Diego and formed The Kingsmen band – with Reid as front man. When he was 16, Angela gave Reid a recording session for Christmas to inspire their first original song, Shine.
Music therapy truly lasts a lifetime. Now Reid and Angela have a collection of songs about every color in the rainbow. What is your favorite color?
Reid was enthusiastic, confident, and a total professional… not a bit phased by technical difficulties with his keyboard and the house sound system. He engaged the kids and adults in the audience by cueing them to play kazoos during musical interludes and modeling specific clapping patterns for his original songs. After the performance, he answered questions and spoke more about his album and his podcast series. His love of people (and being behind the microphone) led to Talk Time w/Reid Moriarty, in which he interviews a diverse group of individuals ranging from his favorite lifeguard to the CEO of Trader Joe’s. (I haven’t listened to all of them yet, but the episode with Temple Grandin is excellent.) At the age of 19, Reid has already accomplished more than some do in an entire lifetime. Reid is a living testament to the power of music therapy and to the potential of individuals with autism whose passions are nourished and encouraged.
Visit Reid’s website HERE!
Purchase Reid’s music HERE!
Check out Reid’s podcast HERE!
Learn more about the St. Louis ARC HERE!
I’ve never met Reid’s Music Therapist, Angela Neve, but I’m pretty sure she’s awesome.
Learn more about her HERE!
Reid’s performance was followed by a presentation by his mother, Andrea Moriarty, discussing her book – One-Track Mind: 15 Ways To Amplify Your Child’s Special Interest
From the book’s back cover:
What am I going to do with this kid?
What does he love?
Stick with that – whether it’s music, dogs, or wind chimes.
Although, the book encourages parents to find their child’s passion, whatever it may be, I (and the rest of the music therapy community) are thrilled that for Reid it was music. Andrea is an ardent advocate for music therapy and discussed the many ways it has benefitted Reid. At a young age, while protesting all other therapies, Reid looked forward to his music therapy time. Sessions began with addressing IEP goals and Andrea shared that “every thing he knows, he learned through music.” As Reid grew older, joined a band, and began performing in public, music provided the vehicle for learning social skills, cooperation, and self-confidence. At age 13, music provided Reid a way to clearly define himself – telling his mom, “I’m a musician!” At age 16, Reid progressed into the realm of songwriting, allowing for self-expression and creativity. Reid is a truly inspirational figure and his journey has been made possible by a loving family determined to build upon his strengths and interests and get the services needed (i.e. music therapy) to realize his full potential.
I’d kick myself later if I didn’t include a list from the book’s appendix:
The Magic of Music Therapy
- Addresses practically any IEP goal.
- Is innately pleasurable; music is its own reward.
- Employs a relative strength.
- Utilizes the whole brain.
- Adapts through one’s lifespan.
- Generalizes easily outside the clinic.
- Allows for structure and creativity simultaneously.
Visit Andrea’s website HERE!
Purchase Andrea’s book HERE!
Proceeds from book and CD sales go to support Banding Together, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to provide music therapy scholarships, mentorships, and instruments to youth with special needs like autism and Down syndrome. Learn more HERE!