Each year my choir, Chorus pro Musica, performs a joint concert with the chamber choir at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA. This concert is my favorite every year; the students always are super appreciative of our music and provide a lively audience.
Perkins’s chamber choir is quite good and traditionally sings a Hanukkah song as well as a few favorite Christmas carols. This year we all performed an arrangement of “The First Noel” and the chamber choir performed “Sleigh Ride” which proved to be a crowd favorite.
Seeing the joy in these students when they perform is such an excitement and is truly an emotional experience. Having studied Music Education in college, these concerts always remind me of the significant amount of research that supports music having significant benefits in adolescents and individuals with disabilities. Studies show that music can help improve cognitive development and academic success; some even report it can help a variety of learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.
This essential need for music is shown by thriving music therapy organizations and programs in which licensed therapists work with individuals to improve their health (cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally) through a variety of musical experiences. The American Music Therapy Association has some great journals to read through to learn more about this important therapeutic method.
It excites me to see music influencing so many over the holiday season. I hope everyone has a great holiday and I’ll see you (in blog form) next year!
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