“If music can soothe the savage beast, imagine what it can do to stimulate a brain confused by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia,” writes Valerie Hill in Friday’s (1/2) Waterloo Region Record (Canada). “ ‘We are not specialists in music therapy, we provide a therapeutic effect,’ said Chris Sharpe, cellist and interim director of development for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. On Dec. 13, the orchestra launched a new health and wellness program at Winston Park, a Kitchener retirement home.” The orchestra met with agencies such as KidsAbility, nursing homes, hospitals and homes for people with disabilities, and experts from Wilfrid Laurier University’s music therapy program “to discuss how the symphony’s health and wellness program would work … Winston Park hosted the first of 12 planned musical experiences. The symphony will also bring the program into the wider community, directly to people who otherwise could not leave their institution to hear a concert….. The symphony’s budget has enough wiggle room to cover the expenses but as it expands Sharpe is hoping they can find some corporate sponsorship….. ‘We did concerts a couple of years ago and one of the musicians came up to me afterward and said it was the most meaningful concert for them,’ said Sharpe.”

Posted January 6, 2015