From a Magic Coach’s Perspective

Teamwork makes it happen. L to R: Salma Kassam, OT, Volunteers Aneesha Nair and Aletheia Chiang and magic instructor, Julie Eng.

 

We have just finished two amazing sessions with Holland Bloorview, with the help of the hospital’s staff and two incredible volunteers, Aletheia and Aneesha. Magic Coaches are truly the essential element that contributes to the success of our workshops. The mentorship and encouragement participants receive during their sessions are certain to endure beyond the performance of their Big Show. These are relationships both participants and magic coaches carry  as they continue their journeys in life and magic.

We had the pleasure of learning about the experience of two magic coaches, Aletheia and Aneesha, summed up in a blog entry. We are proud to share Aletheia’s writing and hope it inspires others into volunteering.

Aletheia writes:

Following the success of Magicana’s 4-week My Magic Hands workshop at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in March, our team of “Magic Coaches”, program leader, and Occupational Therapy staff, continued with another set of 4-week one-to-one sessions in April. Our aim was to provide individual one-to-one support to a smaller group of young participants–(some new, some returning!)–as they learn new magic routines and tricks, and in the process, develop and apply many fine motor, cognitive, speech, and interpersonal skills.

In these one-to-one sessions, participants learned the various components of new magic routines at a comfortable pace customized to their skill level and ability. Our team worked to create a quieter, more focused environment where more attention was paid to each participant’s developmental and therapeutic progress in the learning and performance of the magic routines. Furthermore, they developed interpersonal growth through peer-to-peer interaction, group support, and mutual encouragement.

At the end of each session, our young magicians had the opportunity to perform the magic trick of their choice to a warm audience that consisted mostly of family members and fellow peers. The art of performance is an important component of magic, and touches on key life skills such as self-confidence building and public speaking. For some of these participants, who would otherwise shy away from public performance in a larger group, these one-to-one sessions gave them the chance to perform for those closest to them, in an intimate and small setting they could be comfortable in.

With many new, young magicians of April’s one-to-one sessions now becoming graduates of our program, we look forward to the next opportunity to share the wonder of magic within the community! Many, many thanks to the special tutelage of the program’s lead instructor, Julie Eng, and Salma Kassam, Occupational Therapist staff at Holland-Bloorview, as well as to the focused coaching of dedicated volunteers, for making this unique opportunity possible for our friends and family at Holland-Bloorview!

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