What is Music Therapy?

The American Music Therapy Association states that, “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”

Greg's music fits within this broad definition of music therapy as it has been therapeutic to people with Parkinson's Disease in many ways. Religious groups, secular choirs, and soloists have sung his vocal music. His instrumental music has been used as a stimulus for a Parkinson's dance group that works to facilitate movement in the members.

Greg is a singing member of “The Tremble Clefs” chorus. This group is sponsored by the Jewish Family & Children's Services Center (JF & CS Center) in Waltham, MA, in collaboration with the Speech, Language, and Swallowing Disorders department of Massachusetts General Hospital. One goal of this chorus is to enhance voice quality, especially volume, for participants. Thus far, many individuals with Parkinson's, as well as family members, report improvement in speech, which they attribute to their participation in Tremble Clefs.

Perhaps a more powerful outcome of the singing has been the improvement in the quality of life for the Tremble Clefs participants. People truly enjoy the music and each other. It's a morning each week that they look forward to. The increasing number of singers over the first five years is a testament to the value people place on music. Greg's music has been a significant part of the Tremble Clef experience. For example, the Tremble Clefs have sung Greg's composition, “It's Up To Us – Keep Boston Strong” in concert with the Boston Civic Symphony.

Greg's orchestral compositions have also had an impact on the Parkinson's community. A dance class sponsored by the JF & CS Center has danced to many of Greg's works. Greg has also shared his music with many Parkinson's support groups. Whether sung, danced, or shared with Parkinson's groups, the audience is always inspired by the music.

Thus far, Greg's experience has been limited to people like himself who are afflicted by Parkinson's Disease. He has composed many pieces of music to aid those who could benefit from a relaxing and soothing listening experience. His CD titled “Tranquility”, contains many instrumental tracks that are meant to calm the soul. The JF & CS Center has also used these selections extensively.

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