Where words fail, music speaks. For those that have trouble expressing themselves at Mercy Home, the arts are vital. For Frantz, music has been a gateway for new skills. Frantz has been part of the Mercy Home family for 36 years, but in the past 10 years, he has really grown as the leader and drummer of Melodic Soul, the Mercy Home performance band.
As a child, he was shy and fearful around others. Today, he is an outgoing and friendly band leader, working the room at every performance. His signature song is Joe Cocker’s “You are So Beautiful,” which he loves to croon to a person he has selected in the room.
Since joining the band, Frantz has become a leader and his public speaking skills have grown. “Frantz’ confidence has gone through the roof.” At every performance, he calls out the performers and introduces each member of the band.
Music has played an important role at Mercy Home, unlocking potential and providing a chance at new expression. The roots of music at Mercy Home go back to 1900 when the Sisters of Mercy and the Brooklyn Institute taught children to sing. Music therapy is now one of the offerings of Mercy Home’s Creative Arts Therapy program.
In the 1990s, our band was known as the Mercy Music Makers.
The group really became a musical band in 2005 with better
instruments and a stronger focus on performance and composition. There’s now a focus on the individual and what they can bring to the band. “They each have their own musical taste and their own voice. To them, it’s relatable, it’s comfortable.”
Jager loves reggae and hip hop, Frantz likes pop and rock, John likes country, blues, and folk. Lucy wants to sing Spanish music. Each brings their own interests and their own understanding of music. And for each new style that’s added, they learn about the beats, instruments, and sounds of a particular culture.
Music engages their interests and allows them to compose songs based on their feelings. Once rehearsals are wrapped up, they take their show on the road performing around New York City.