April 1, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE OREGON SYMPHONY PARTNERS WITH MARY’S WOODS TO LAUNCH musicNOW, AN INNOVATIVE PROGRAM FOR THOSE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA
(PORTLAND, Ore.) – The Oregon Symphony has partnered with Mary’s Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community to launch musicNOW, an interactive program designed to enhance the emotional and social well-being of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Mary’s Woods hosted eight musicNOW sessions in February, and will host an additional eight in April at its Lake Oswego location.
MusicNOW is a musical engagement program, offering interactive sessions to residents of the memory care and assisted living units at Mary’s Woods and their caregivers. MusicNOW was created by the Oregon Symphony and its musicians, in collaboration with community partners, including Mary’s Woods, the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon, Earthtones Music Therapy Services, Marylhurst University’s music therapy program, the Portland Art Museum’s artNOW staff, and OHSU-affiliated research associate Mary Ruhl.
“The interactive musicNOW sessions build upon our ongoing efforts to support resident wellness through music and education programs, such as our Music in the Woods concert series,” said Marvin Kaiser, CEO of Mary’s Woods. “Music can provide numerous therapeutic benefits to those living with memory impairment. We are thrilled to partner with the Oregon Symphony, and look forward to the April series.”
During the April series, each session will feature a performance by an Oregon Symphony soloist, accompanied by music therapy interns from Earthtones Music Therapy Services who are participating in Marylhurst University’s music therapy program. Interns will help musicians plan sessions based on best practices in age-related interaction, and will facilitate audience participation and active discussion. Musicians will share insights about their lives in the Oregon Symphony with residents and guide them through sing-alongs and interactive movement. The April musicNOW series will feature violist Jennifer Arnold; bassist Jon McCullough-Benner; cellist Gayle Budd-O’Grady; and violinist Laura Ha.
“Music has the power to enhance lives in so many ways,” said Scott Showalter, president of the Oregon Symphony. “That’s the motivating force for all of the work we do, on stage and in the community. As with many of our community engagement efforts, this program benefits significantly from our collaborations. Our community partnerships made musicNOW possible.”
In its inaugural year, musicNOW is set to reach 150-200 residents and caregivers. Research associate Mary Ruhl and interns from Earthtones Music Therapy Services will collect data and evaluate musicNOW’s success with program participants, caregivers and Oregon Symphony musicians in order to expand the program next season.
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