Expressive Arts Center
Individual and Group Services in Music & Art 
Dawn D. Collins, M.A., CMP 
87 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant, NY 12173
(518) 424-2342
Rhythmic Medicine - Great Products (flutes, CDs, Freenotes Wing, drums and words of comfort blankets) to support healing from Janalea Hoffman, founder and pioneer in the field of music therapy.

The expressive arts benefit those who are seeking greater self-understanding and creative enrichment, as well as those who seek alternative methods of therapeutic treatment and coping strategies for particular challenges.  

Presentations Tailored to Your Needs!  Please scroll down for services for individuals, including Homeschoolers Arts and Music, Music for Healing and Transition and Vibroacoustic Therapy.

Homeschoolers Individual and Group Services
Scroll to bottom for a long list of arts-based activities available and The Elements of Art.  Depending on age, an hour to two hour sessions are available for children from preschool through elementary age at the minimum rate of $10 each per session for each child in a group of six. (Due to COVID, the groups are limited to six for social distancing purposes.  The room is 16 x 25 so tables are spaced apart and children should wear masks.)   Art sessions include a variety of visual, literary, kinesthetic and auditory arts experiences.

Therapeutic Music 

Music tailored to specific client needs in order to achieve relaxation, enhance or adjust mood, balance energy, and assist in regulating body rhythms.   Individuals may have one-on-one session that includes vocal or instrumental music, and the client may participate or prefer to be a listener only.  In other words, engagement is an option for the listener.  Instrumentation varies and may be acoustic guitar, mountain dulcimer, Celtic harp, Native American style flute, or other tuned acoustic instrument as well as voice.

Music may also reduce stress and anxiety and aid sleep.

The basic elements of music are: rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, tone color, texture and form.  When working one on one providing therapeutic music, all of these elements are considered by the provider but not necessary for the listener to be familiar with.  The provider takes into account the "condition" of the listener and applies the elements that benefit the listener.   

There may be additional tools applied to engage when appropriate, e.g. memory stimulation and participation (numeric, alphabetic, and animal identification); story lines, nonsense syllables. When possible, instrumentation is selected that is best to meet the needs of the listener, e.g. nylon strings vs. steel strings.  Pentatonic percussion-type instruments (no wrong note) are offered to listener to play and engage with.

Scroll to bottom below to see menu of Arts, "Elements of Visual Art."

The Expressive Voice and Sacred Soundings: Meditative to Blissful 
Develop confidence and a sense of community 
Support your voice through breath awareness practices
Focus on posture and gesture
Express your body through movement and sound 
Refine tonal quality 
Improve musicianship, and 
Explore your creativity through sound and music.  

Primary benefits of this practice: A period of uninterrupted repetition of simple sacred syllables allows for entry into a serene, meditative state of mind conducive to heightened spiritual awareness.   (Spirituality is not denominational – it is the individual’s perception of the Divine.) 

Multi-ethnic cultural resources are drawn from Brazilian, Celtic, Native American, Taize, Gregorian, African, and some N. and S. Indian Sanskrit, etc. 

Comments after Vocal Workshop, 2014 & 2015 - "Very relaxing" D. Gelles

Comments after Vocal Meditation Workshop, Catskill Library, 12/09:
"Very wonderful!"  Jim Davis
"Thank you so much for coming to the Catskill Library and presenting your vocal meditation workshop....the workshop was splendid." Audrey Matott, Library Assistant

Profound Sound
An overview of the history of sound as a healing modality, information on psychoacoustics, the physiological and emotional effects of sound and music; highlights on major contributors to the field of sound and music healing; and a hands-on demonstration of the instruments and tools, tips on techniques available to aid in enhancing your own sound health, plus a take home resource list.  Recommended duration:  1 1/2 hours or more.


"Born Creative" Arts & Music for Children & Families 
&/or Special Needs
Every child is creative and musical.  Sessions are designed to tap into natural abilities and encourage confidence in using those abilities.  Classes use a range of art forms, including music and movement.  Literacy-based activities may be incorporated.  Dawn has extensive experience with special populations, such as, developmentally disabled, autistic spectrum, learning challenged, and those with emotional issues.

Library Workshop Comments after Palenville Library Performance, 12/09: "The music was great! My two year old just loved playing along with the various instruments and also really enjoyed the puppets.  Thank you for a nice evening."  Audience participant   
"Dawn was an absolute delight to have at our library.  The children were so joyfully engaged!" Tracy, Palenville Librarian
"We enjoyed having you and clearly the kids did too.  We would like to have you return,,,. Thank you for a wonderful time! " Carol Roberts, Librarian, Troy Public Library, Feb. 2010

Aromatherapy Introduction to history/background of aromatherapy, what are appropriate essential oils and carrier oils, safe storage and usage, what are the therapeutic properties, recipes, and recommendations for conditions.  "Reminiscing with Aromatherapy" may be incorporated as part of workshop depending on time or may be a separate workshop entirely, or individual activity.  This  is highly recommended for the elderly population because it stimulates memories and conversation, is fun, and allows individuals to sniff familiar and less familiar scents under controlled conditions.  Precautions are taken for safe use.  This can be a one to two hour workshop, or may be scheduled for several sessions.   

Introduction to Native American Style Flute Group (3 hours) $55 ea.
Interactive workshop covering how to hold the flute, breath control, playing the pentatonic flute Mode 1 and Mode 4, improvising using one breath and one or mote notes, reading tablature (what is tablature?), playing with other instruments, intro to ornaments, playing in duos and more, display of personal collection of flutes from various builders, and resource handouts.  

NOTE:  You may hear Dawn play Native American Flute on a CD entitled "Flute Haven Journeys" available through CD Baby and Amazon; also Dawn plays "Lotus" on a Winds of Celebration CD produced by Potomac Native Flute Festival.  http//   
Dawn's featured songs are Harvest (on flute with Richard Brooner on keyboard), Sunset Waltz (solo flute) and Sing A Song (solo voice with improvisational backup group), and Orpheus Speaks (Jim Kirk on flute and Dawn on guitar accompaniment), and also collaborative tunes Cetacean, Campfire, Hang Jam and Flute Haven Rocks.

Music Performances for General Audiences - Special Events
Tailored vocal and instrumental music for parties for children and adults, romantic celebrations, memorials, and ceremonies of joy and sorrow.  Music selected will convey the spirit of the occasion!

Music Performances for Historic Sites and Museums - Vocal and instrumental (mountain dulcimer, guitar, Native American-style flute, & more) Period Songs and tunes dating from 1600s through 1800s and early 1900s, drawn from European cultural traditions as well as other ethnic influences, brought to America and shared. Many of these tunes have become classic favorites handed down from generation to generation. May be performed in costume.  

For Individuals:  

Music for Healing and Transition®  Vocal and or instrumental music appropriately selected by Certified Music Practitioner and provided one-to-one for patient condition/categories, e.g., acute, non-acute or chronically ill, cognitively impaired,  agitated/high pain, or actively dying.  Research shows that music assists in pain management, regulating blood pressure and balancing body rhythms, and may stimulate cognitive functions.  Twenty minutes to 1/2 hour recommended.  

Vibroacoustic Therapy utilizes specific vibrational frequencies scientifically researched and found to be helpful in managing pain and restoring a sense of wellness for varied conditions.  It is not a substitute for expert medical treatment, and there are no guarantees as to outcomes.  An individual lies on a technologically developed mat that is designed to transmit a frequency in a range that has been researched and found to be helpful for relaxation and increasing a sense of wellness for certain conditions.  It is a 'sonic massage' experience that may be used with or without music.  For more information or answers to specific questions, please contact Dawn.

Sound Healing Utilizing the voice as well as instruments & advanced technological tools, the individual may choose to be active or passive in their own unique sound session.  Instruments may be selected from the following:  harp, mountain dulcimer, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, a variety of drums (djembe, tongue drum, frame drums), kazoo, Freenote® Wing in C major, resonator bells, rainstick, kalimba, and other rhythm tools.   

Reiki Energy Therapy  Reiki is an ancient Tibetan hands-on technique which taps into universal energy all around us to balance an individual's energy field.  It was rediscovered in the late 19th century by a Japanese monk, Dr. Mikao Usui, and brought to the West by Hawaya Takata, a Japanese American woman in the 1970s.  The world Reiki (pronounced ray kee) means "divinely guided energy" and so the help of God/Divine Spirit is invoked to guide the energy of the practitioner to where it will do the highest good (physical, emotional, or spiritual)  and to bring about the recipient's return to the greater wholeness.  Reiki practitioners, after completing a series of training attunements, act as channels for the energy to travel to the recipients.  Individual recipients may feel a greater sense of relaxation or a feeling of mental clarity, calmness and well-being.  Dawn has completed Reiki Master/Teacher training.   

Therapeutic Expressive Arts  Every experience is gently guided.  Individuals enter a session with a brief check-in on subjects of concern, and then transition occurs into art-making, an aesthetic feedback after, and a re-entry period with final comments before leaving.   Duration:  1 1/2 hours recommended.  (Note:  Please see a description for Elements of Art below as related to visual arts.)

Menu of Expressive Arts
Creating & Communicating with Clay; Pebble Art
Watercolor Murals
Paper Marbleing
Personal Mandalas
Tissue Paper Collage
Tempera Painting
Self-Boxes with Found Objects
Touch Drawing
Music Improvisation and Imagery
Collage from Nature
A Trip Around the World with Music (multi-session interactive)
Emerging Emotions through Movement
Sandtray Modeling & Art
Land & Nature Art
Color Your World with Construction Paper Mural (team project)
Sound Journey & Journaling
Poetry from Word Bowls, Postcards, & Varied Prompts
Poetry - the Visual Imagery 
Photo Collage & Journaling
Song Writing & Playing 
The Stories and Drama of Our Lives - Re-enactment

Elements of Visual Art include:

Color - what the eyes see when light is reflected off an object.  (color identification, primary and secondary colors)

​Form - An object has three dimensions (height, width, length)

Line - identifiable path of a point moving in space and can vary in width, direction and length

Shape - it may appear solid, or may appear three dimensional or two dimensional (length and width), geometric (as drawn with ruler), or organic (free form, irregular)

Space - the distance or area between, above/below, around or within

Texture - sensory, the way something feels

Value - variation of light within