As social distancing is creating a new hurdle for many, particularly ill children, to overcome, Palm Beach Symphony and Creative Arts Therapies of the Palm Beaches are giving them something to sing about, through a partnership called Nurturing Notes.
The two non-profit organizations are creating a series of fun, interactive sessions for the children at Quantum House and the Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's in West Palm Beach to enjoy and stream with their families.
“We were offering Nurturing Notes sessions at Quantum House and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital until the children could no longer gather for an in-person session due to safety concerns in response to COVID-19,” said Palm Beach Symphony CEO David McClymont. “We knew we had to find another way to continue the music therapy that is so important and we will be taping two sessions a month until we are able to return to in-person music therapy sessions.”
Palm Beach Children's Hospital features a 24-hour dedicated pediatric emergency department and, as members of the Children’s Oncology Group, it offers a treatment center for childhood cancer with access to the most advanced research and treatments. Quantum House is a caring and supportive home that lessens the burden for families whose children are receiving treatment in Palm Beach County for a serious medical condition.
“No matter where the children come from, what language they speak or what they dealt with at the hospital that day, Nurturing Notes creates a space where everyone is welcome and creativity is encouraged,” said Shay Jackson, Quantum House Outreach Coordinator.
Led by board certified music therapist Bree Gordon, director of Creative Arts Therapies, the videos are recorded remotely with members of the Middle Bridge Trio: Valentin Mansurov and Marina Lenau, violins, and Jeff Adkins, double bass. Children snap their fingers, drum out a rhythm or sing along as they are guided through the online session via a computer or another device.
“The trio present familiar tunes for children and provide shorter songs for their attention span,” said Lisa Barron, Pediatric Office Supervisor at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Children can enjoy the activity without much effort on their part and we look forward to the trio being able to return to their monthly visits and providing our pediatric patients and families inspiring musical presentations.”
Nurturing Notes is supported by a grant from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. "The Community Foundation believes that investing in creative collaborations adds depth and diversity to the cultural landscape of our local communities," said Vice President of Community Impact January Reissman.
The Symphony’s Nurturing Notes program with Creative Arts Therapies of the Palm Beaches is also offered to vulnerable and isolated populations throughout the community, including to seniors living in assisted living and memory care communities, at-risk children, veterans and Holocaust survivors with PTSD, and those receiving inpatient care for medical or mental health needs. In one of the last in-person sessions at Quantum House held this spring, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop and Palm Beach Symphony supporter Paul DeJong joined the children in making music and handed out autographed baseballs.
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