MacPhail Center for music’s Light in the Well

Published Sep 23, 2021

Five years ago, Ferol Grode showed up to her first day of music therapy in a “Life is good” T-shirt. Her mother, Patty, had one on, too.

To a stranger, that message might have seemed woefully disconnected from the people bearing it. Ferol was a 21-year-old living with Partial Trisomy 13, a neurological condition that steals away her ability to talk, walk upright, track objects and focus her attention. Throughout her life, she’s endured seizures, multiple surgeries, and a bent spine that put her in a permanent crouch. And yet…

“They had such joy radiating from their faces,” says Yue Wu, Ferol’s music therapist. “I was drawn in.”