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MSU’s music therapy recital celebrates abilities

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The 10th annual Michigan State University music therapy recital, “Celebrate Abilities” will celebrate, through music, the abilities of children and adults diagnosed with special needs such as autism, traumatic brain injuries, mental and physical impairments, developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. The event will be held at 4:30 p.m. March 28 in the MSU Union Lobby.

“’Celebrate Abilities’ is a day many individuals and their families look forward to each year,” said Cindy Edgerton, co-director of the MSU Community Music School’s Music Therapy Clinical Services. “For many performers, this is their only opportunity to showcase their talents in front of an audience. It’s an incredible experience.”

This informal event will be set on two stages and feature inclusive groups of people with and without special needs. Scheduled performances include a sax jazz combo; several rock ‘n’ roll combos including Elvis and Queen songs; a Disney vocal group; a kazoo choir; a violin, hand chime, vocal ensemble; a country western combo; and a vocal ensemble. MSU music therapy students and MSU Community Music School music therapists will assist and perform with the groups.

The recital is free and open to the public. Snacks and drinks will be available between performances. Donations will be accepted to benefit the MSU Music Therapy program.

Music therapy is an established health care profession using music to address the physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of children and adults with special needs. Music therapists do not teach their clients how to sing or play instruments. Rather, instruments and voices are used to create a common musical language. Some music therapy clients may not be able to speak, but they may be able to communicate musically. Many clients develop self-confidence and enhance their self-esteem through participation in positive, success-oriented interventions.

MSU established the first music therapy program in the world in 1944. About 30 years ago, the Music Therapy Clinic was established for student practicum training. In 1993, Music Therapy Clinical Services, a MSU Community Music School program, was established to provide professional music therapy services to schools, agencies and private clients throughout Mid-Michigan.

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