Violin and Therapeutic Riding

Using violin vibrations for sparking deeper connections for those needing physical, cognitive and emotional wellness

So Imagine the Potential! in the Therapeutic Riding Arena for Disabilities

Does your child or a friend have autism? Does your child have Down syndrome or a diagnosis of cerebral palsy? Maybe you are looking for something new, another way of triggering changes toward greater independence and communication for your child and loved ones.

As a professional violinist and teacher, I enjoy innovating to create possibilities for others. I have developed a music program called Violin For Wellness™  Violin and Therapeutic Riding for disabilities in the therapeutic riding arena. My expertise on the violin is a powerful tool for assisting in physical therapy and therapeutic instruction. Please click on the feature video to the right to hear my interview with Alana Taylor, in my music room at home. 

This is what I find. When I play the violin in the arena as a layer on top of therapy treatment or riding instruction, the violin serves as another tool for the therapists to use to increase their ‘reach’. If there is client resistance at all, the violin casts its spell, and barriers are broken. A door is opened and the spark and warm feelings the violin pours over the client can instigate cognitive and physical transformation. Additional positive outcomes include great waves of happiness, kilowatt smiles and well-being. The violin enables change.

Here is an example. Kherrigan was unable to learn sign language due to her autism and blindness. Although the therapist worked with her to understand that touching fingers together meant “more”, she was unable to put two the concepts together. One day, as the violin began to be involved with her learning process, she had a eureka! moment. It occurred when I declined to play as her hands came away. “More?”, her therapist asked, without helping. Break-through! She initiated the response. Her reward, using cause and effect, was for me to play the violin for her. What a touching moment, for all of us (see video to right).

Therapeutic riding is a medically-sanctioned form of physical therapy and can be doctor-prescribed. For those who are new to Therapeutic Riding, there are two streams.

Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Riding is taught by Instructors who have passed rigorous training through CANTRA (Canadian Therapy Riding Association, or the American equivalent).These instructors will concentrate on personal engagement through games, strength and flexibility exercises.

Hippotherapy

Come and be part of this ground-breaking journey.
Join the Violin for Wellness Family.

Hippotherapy is a modality, used by Physical and Occupational Therapists who are medically-trained. They understand the biology of the horse and the human, and how to use the mechanics of the horse to pinpoint physiological treatment for the human. They use the warmth, gait and size of the horse to challenge proprioception, core strengthening, stretching, and other special focuses. Read More

In fact, the violin is truly leading the sessions in my Violin and Therapeutic Riding program, partnering with the horse and sparking effective and fun ideas with the Instructors and Therapists. With well-being and better quality of life at the center of my goals, it is really magical seeing my clients change before our very eyes, happy, responsive and moving forward in their development. We have enjoyed sharing this program with international visitors, too.

Do you have a family member who could benefit from the Violin for Wellness™ Violin and Therapeutic Riding program? Click the Facility button below, or if you prefer, contact  or email me at carolyn@violinforwellness.org.

SEE FACILITY

For Families

All videos on my website have been released. Violin for Wellness™ Violin and Therapeutic Riding program is in developmental stages at many locations. However, at this time, it is available only at VTEA in Langley.

Letting any facility know you desire to include the violin in your loved one’s program will help make it happen sooner! Therapeutic riding facilities do recognize the value of adding a live music component to their programming so they need to hear from you!

Come and be part of this ground-breaking journey! Join the Violin for Wellness™ Family.

If you are a Riding Instructor interested in knowing more about adding the violin component to your client’s sessions, click the button below.

USING VIOLIN

For Riding Instructors

Violin for Wellness™ is a gateway tool for instructors, therapists and parents! When the arts are involved, all places are better. 

Please contact or email me at carolyn@violinforwellness.org to discuss introducing a program at your facility. Therapeutic riding is the foundation and passion behind Violin for Wellness™, so my website is dedicated to the therapeutic riding community. Your facility will be listed on my Facilities Page with your link, generating more business and broader community outreach.

Here are some stories:

Carolyn’s Journey to Violin for Wellness™, interview with Alana Taylor

Kherrigan’s Epiphany: using cause and effect to trigger understanding

A client’s mother says:

When my daughter first started Hippotherapy (physiotherapy on a horse), I was thrilled. It quickly became our favourite weekly therapeutic activity.  Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Carolyn and her violin showed up. Now my daughter rides the horse to beautiful violin music.

In observing both my daughter and other clients, I have seen (and experienced for myself) that Carolyn’s music increases their overall engagement during their Hippotherapy session. Carolyn and her violin music provide another sensory input that truly makes therapy more holistic. I believe the music will continue to help my daughter get the most out of her Hippotherapy sessions, as it provides individualized and dynamic opportunities for auditory feedback, promotes concepts of cause and effect, is a stimulus for improving deep breathing and lung capacity, and adds to an environment a sense of warmth and safety. My daughter thoroughly enjoys hearing the music as well as interacting with it.

Carolyn provides a wonderful complementary service that she willingly customizes for every individual, both young and old. It has been a great addition to my daughter’s therapy!                                                             Jillian Bergman Stow, PT, Director of Care, PhysioCare At Home

Greek Visit and Interviews
Atha and Kleopatra, physical therapists from Greece, made the trek to Langley, BC to meet with phyiotherapist and hippotherapy guru Pippa Hodge and Carolyn Cole, professional violinist and educator, where they witnessed hippotherapy and music in action together. Hear what they have to say.

A Bit Deeper Look

The violin has the organic ability to instantly infuse the client through vibrations and rhythm. These frequencies are immediately absorbed at a cellular level. As the brain and the heart receive the information, interruption of typical behavior patterns indicate the connection is made. When these patterns suddenly alter, an expectant and engaged client is suddenly present, and an engaged client means they are ready to respond to treatments more efficiently and with equanimity. Because the sunny and uplifting colors of the violin can trigger, or cue, this accessibility instantaneously, in that precise moment, the therapist or instructor can ask for, or manipulate, a better outcome.

carolyn@violinforwellness.org

Violin for Wellness™ is based in British Columbia, Canada.