NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Finding healing through harmony is the goal of Musical Intervention.
“There are times when people come in and they’re having a very hard time,” said Founder and Director, Adam Christoferson. “They’re out on the street, there’s nothing going on.”
The is a space where anyone can come in and record music.
“They used to play guitar, they used to rap and let it all go because the addiction can take everything,” said Christoferson. “Music. It always played a big role in my life, you know? I’ve been surrounded around mental health issues both personally and in my family and there was a lot of drugs going on, but somehow music always gave me solace and gave me a place to escape all of that.”
He needed that escape given what he saw at home.
“We were living in New Haven, Section-8 housing, and like gangs were just like gun firing and my mother, it was horrible. But, my mother would get like beaten up for her medication. It was just really hard times,” said Adam. “My mother has paranoid schizophrenia and it was interesting because I had a very famous uncle Michael Bolton. He just got famous as I was born.”
With a famous uncle, he saw first-hand at a very young age, the lifestyle differences between the rich and poor.
“The limo would come pick us up and bring us to this huge concert and we’d have like this VIP passes and we’d go backstage and have all this food, that was like a delicacy,” said Christoferson.
“Finally the money trickled down, but by that point I was put in foster care,” he said.
Eventually, his paternal grandmother took him in and raised him.
“I remember when I was 8-years-old I had my first drum set and that was my place where I would go down in the basement and it’s where I found my space, ” he said.
That’s when he realized how much music can be therapeutic. He graduated with a degree in recreational therapy at Southern Connecticut State University and started open mic nights in community centers and soup kitchens.
Eventually, they found a permanent home on Temple Street in New Haven. The street name was fitting as it became a refuge for hundreds.
Christoferson said, “A lot of people who need services are intimidated by clinical settings and this is a space that they can come in, get encouraged, get inspired and maybe bridge that gap between community and clinical services.”
Anyone is welcome. The only requirement is that drugs and alcohol are left at the door.
“The biggest high I’ve ever had was being on stage performing,” said Madison’s Anthony Lanzetti. “I got hurt at a young age snowboarding. So, I had some back problems and yeah, sure I’ve struggled with substances I wouldn’t call myself a drug addict. I think I’ve been addicted to certain things in the past and I’ve been able to overcome them.”
Lanzetti strings the bass. When he does, he says it brings him back to a different time in his life.
“So it’s always been very therapeutic for me. I played in a slew of bands when I was young in high school and it was the focal point of my adolescent years,” said Lanzetti.
The non-profit engages the community during the day with studio sessions Then, Thursday is Open-Mic night.
Lanzetti said, “Leave all that stuff at the door, come in, we’ll show you how to record, we’ll give you some music lessons.”
Volunteers even help publish music and shoot videos. They give hundreds of unheard voices, a chance to be heard, and hopefully heal in harmony.
“I capitalized on when people gave me on anytime somebody gives me a chance and so I feel like other people need that as well,” said Christoferson.
News 8’s Stephanie Simoni will have the story Monday night on WTNH. Join us on Monday at 11 a.m. for a live conversation about the topic on our website here.
WEB EXTRA: Saharah’s performance at Musical Intervention