Melodic Connections: The Power of Musical Performance At Autism Rocks 14

Music is a universal language that transcends barriers and brings people together. For individuals with developmental disabilities, music can be a powerful tool for self-expression and socialization. Performing, like at the recent Autism Rocks event, is the icing on the cake.

As a community music therapy program, KAA’s Melodic Connections provides music therapy and performance opportunities for individuals with disabilities. One of the highlights of the program is their annual performance at Autism Rocks, which gives participants a chance to showcase their musical talents and hard work to everyone at the music festival.

Preparing for the Big Event

Typically, Melodic Connections members spend about one month learning two to three new songs for their concert. To prepare a setlist for 45 minutes, they need approximately 10-12 songs, which takes their musicians about four to six months to put together if they are creating an entirely new show. During this time, participants learn to play the songs on their instrument of choice. The preparation for the concert is not only a time to learn new music but also an opportunity for participants to develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

Day of the Concert

On February 19th, 25 musicians took the stage and performed the music that they’d spent months learning. For many of these individuals, this is their only opportunity to perform in front of a crowd. The performers relish the chance to be in the spotlight, acting like real rockstars. This experience brings a lot of joy for them. They love being able to showcase their hard work. Having an audience clap for them is a much-deserved thrill.

The Show’s Impact

The impact of these concerts goes beyond just the participants. Family members, friends and caregivers often attend, and they are amazed their loved ones could learn this music in such a short time frame.​​

Beyond the Autism Rocks Performance

Our enthusiastic musicians are always looking to perform. They will take the stage at the Coffee Shop Summer Series in June, July and August at Just Brew in Silverton and perform at Ridin’ & Rockin’ for Autism in August. 
For more information on Melodic Connections, click here, or email our Director of Music Therapy, Alexandra Wilson, MT-BC,

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Kevin Potts