“My Family” was written and performed by Michael Smith, accompanied by Music Therapist Ai Nakatsuka, MT-BC, at our annual Music-Dance-Art Therapy recital showcase in 2016.
This song builds and builds to a wild emotional finish, stay to the end!
Michael has an interesting and touching story that makes his performance in this video all the more touching:
“Michael was placed into our home at the age of 2 months old and by 2 years old was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. At 8 years old medications he began medications and at 13 he was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. That year was horrific for all of us, but for Michael it was heartbreaking. We went through many doctor appointments, interventions, meds, programs, and spending many, many days and nights in the crisis unit at the hospital, battling insurance coverage to get him real help and literally begging anyone and everyone to help him. Then he had a complete psychotic break and was in the hospital for a month. There are not words to describe the hell he lived in at that time… Finally, we found some medications that helped him, but it was not enough for him to remain living in our home. He entered Bancroft and lives in a group home.
Michael started taking piano lessons when he was young but when the bipolar episodes began he had to stop. At Bancroft he began taking music therapy piano lessons. When the music therapist joined CNNH, Michael continued his lessons there and then began working with a new music therapist who had him write and sing some of his own works.
Through music he was able to calm himself when agitated and to come to terms with all that he has been through. Michael’s challenges in life will never be over but CNNH through their wonderful staff will always give him hope and peace in his world.”