Transitional Independent Living


How Music Night Helps Students Build Social Skills While Having Fun

A favorite activity at New Directions is exploring the local music scene, playing music, and reviewing music venues around town. Students and staff come together weakly to learn and play music.  In our student lounge, there are acoustic and bass guitars, drums, keyboard, and other instruments. Basic instruction as well as advanced skills come together weekly to help make this event one of the favorites.  When students are ready, it’s off to open mic night.

How It Started

Though Music Night is organized by NDFYA California’s Assistant Program Director Matt Xavier, it was actually Dr. Rubin’s idea. Dr. Rubin approached Matt about developing a way to take advantage of the nearby music scene. Since our California is in Pleasant Hill, close to San Francisco, there are plenty of options.

Why Music Night?

Music Night serves three purposes (well, four, because it IS fun, after all). Music therapy is one of the services offered by NDFYA, so this is a natural extension. But it also builds social skills and a sense of community in our students. By traveling as a group, students find common interests with each other. But those common interests also help them forge friendships with people outside of the program. Many students are even brave enough to try Open Mike Nights (something many of us on the staff won’t even do).

Back on Campus

For some students, leaving campus for Music Night might be too much. Or, for students who really connect with music, it’s not enough. So we also offer a music group. Music group officially meets on Thursdays. However, we have a couple of guitars, amps, and drums available in the office, so you’ll often find both students and staff hanging out, building those relationships, and enjoying music. Turns Out Music is Good for You Not sure music is a valuable use of your young adult’s time? Check out some of these studies gathered by Cornell University’s Evidence-Based Living. It turns out that music therapy has a lot of health benefits.

A Good Way to Start the Weekend

Next Friday night, don’t try to find us on campus. We’ll be out on the town, checking out the latest in local music. See you there.
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