Camp Civitan and Mindsong Music Lab
The Camp Civitan Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides adventures for developmentally disabled adults in Phoenix, Arizona. Campers enjoy a variety of enriching and fun experiences that promote positive self-esteem, teamwork, socialization, and healthy activities.

One such experience is the Mindsong Music Lab, a program that runs through the week and all year long, helps individuals and groups study their favorite songwriters, write and record songs, and take instrument lessons. Music teacher Patrick Andrew says the program is growing rapidly with a new location in Central Phoenix expected soon.

"Mindsong is a creative space for members to explore musical passions and learn to play different instruments, study various types of music and poetry, and practice songwriting,” he says.
Patrick isn't the only one having a good time as Civitan members Brian and Lane both feel a sense of community while learning to read music and discovering a connection with a particular instrument.

"I get to interact with friends and watch awesome music documentaries and play piano. I’ve learned the notes on the keyboard and staff," Brian says. "My favorite thing is playing guitar—I get to be in a rock band and it helps me reach my goals."
"What I really like about MindSong music is writing songs and studying the artists who write great songs. I love singing and jamming in my rock band," Lane says.

Before the pandemic, members would take what they have learned and perform in a rock band or choir at senior centers and schools in the community. Although Patrick says he has a lot of fun playing with the band, he also realizes there is much more to what they do and he sees it each day.

"The benefits to learning music and creating it are many, including improved cognitive function, belief in one’s self as they accomplish new benchmarks, and language development as an individual learns songwriting skills,” he says.

Beyond the clinical science of what Patrick does, he says "The evidence is the brightest smile you will ever see when you move someone’s hands into place on the drums or guitar and let go. They realize they are making music. This has happened many times over the years since Mindsong began.”

The Mindsong Music Lab is run by dedicated volunteers who are driven by the belief that everyone should be able to experience the joy of making music.

The Foundation is happy to have worked with Guitar Center in providing the following equipment: Rogue Rocketeer electric guitar packs, Mitchell acoustic-electric guitars, Mitchell bass guitars and D’Addario string sets.

“This gift will enable us to start more rock bands and quite literally spread the healing power of music,” Patrick says.
Musical Mischief
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