Angelic Choir Created Out Of Feuding Colleagues

The Episcopal SeniorLife Communities based in Rochester has one motto, “Life. Inspired every day.” Unfortunately, the motto was not put into heart five years ago because the staffs of the community are far from inspired.

The Episcopal Church Home witnessed a feud between the staff under housekeeping and the employees working in the laundry department. They are not impressed with one another and mainly due to the fact that they are not raised in the same culture. Add the fact that differences in their language created additional barrier for communicating peacefully.

Stacy McIntyre is their boss at that time and she had an idea to reconcile the feuding groups. During that time, a number of the residents are getting therapy sessions through group music and it is organized by a music therapist named Maria Battista-Hancock who is from the Hochstein School of Music.

The leadership team of the Episcopal SeniorLife Communities held a team building along with Maria and this is when Stacy asked her if she could work with the staff under housekeeping and laundry. Maria agreed but it was not a smooth sailing work.

Maria shared that their first ten sessions used to be held while the group is divided into two because they all cannot stay in one area.

Mary Butler who is a laundress and a member of the choir shared that when they started, they were all horrible and they are still in awe of why Maria bothered to come back.

It was a few sessions later when the music therapy started to have its effect on the feuding groups.

Maria said that she witnessed that while they were drumming together, a higher purpose is being developed. Conversations started to flow and people are starting to get in tune with one another while thinking about the things they could contribute to the group.

Eventually, self-confidence started to build up, the two groups are more tolerant of one another and that is when team work started to develop.

The sessions eventually created something more, a choir that is now meeting weekly on Wednesday morning. Music is proven to be a good therapy and could also benefit a team building in Australia.