World-Renowned Jazz Musician David Amram Joins Roots Reggae and Hip-Hop Band Shem's Disciples


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Inaugural Concert Celebrating the Debut of Groundbreaking Music Therapy Program at White Plains' Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing

Jazz great David Amram joined Shem's Disciples, an eclectic group of cross cultural musicians, to mark Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing's introduction of a renowned, cutting-edge music therapy program. Established by the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) and the first to offer neurologically-based music therapy treatments in Westchester County, this internationally acclaimed program provides a complete continuum of ongoing music therapy research, professional training and education and hands-on therapy for people with a range of neurological impairments including but not limited to traumatic brain injury; the after-effects of stroke; Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The special musical event--staged at The Arts Exchange in downtown White Plains under the energetic direction of Schnurmacher music therapist Marlon Sobol - recognized the facility's new partnership with its IMNF network affiliate. Since its founding in 1995, IMNF has remained dedicated to restoring, maintaining and improving people's physical, emotional and neurological functioning through the systematic use of music.

The evening was filled with powerful performances as Amram took the stage with Shem's Disciples. Blending Amram's multi-instrumentalist virtuosity and signature jazz style with an array of raw live hip-hop, roots reggae, sweet vocal harmonies and slamming instrumental sections, Amram, Sobol and company brought the audience to its collective feet repeatedly during their electrifying set. Event highlights included a powerful performance by renowned clarinetist Lawrence Sobol, a special guest appearance by Grammy-nominated percussionist Bobby Sanabria and an unforgettable performance by 89-year old Schnurmacher resident Martha Flowers, who received a standing ovation.

Schnurmacher's collaboration with the IMNF will allow Sobol, who currently provides group music therapy sessions to residents, to create a new program specifically geared to providing clinical music therapy. The new program expands one-on-one work with short-term rehab patients; uses music therapy to optimize rehabilitation outcomes such as helping to improve gait, balance and range of motion for people with Parkinson's disease and helping people who have had a stroke to regain speech. Working with patients individually and on a regular basis allows the music therapist to identify their therapeutic needs, develop sessions according to these needs and document their progress.

The partnership with the IMNF will also help Sobol develop more quality programs that use percussion and rhythmic activities to support Schnurmacher's center of excellence in care for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In these cases, music, especially in the form of familiar songs, unlocks memories, improves communication and helps overcome withdrawal.

“Thanks to the Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, Westchester County residents can now avail themselves of a clinical music therapy program that goes well-beyond the programs traditionally offered in skilled nursing facilities," explains IMNF Director and Co-Founder Dr. Concetta M. Tomaino. “This program is always a work in progress, developing new and more effective therapies which awaken, stimulate and help to heal through the extraordinary power of music."

Community members are encouraged to share in the IMNF's life-affirming work by supporting the expansion of music therapy services at Schnurmacher. Contributions will provide funding for staff positions, additional programming, supervision and research through the IMNF. For more information on how you can help, call (914) 287-7212 or (718) 519-5880, or visit www.imnf.org.

About the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF)

Through the scientific explorations of music and the brain, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization, seeks to establish new knowledge and develop more effective therapies which awaken, stimulate and heal through the extraordinary power of music. For more information, visit www.imnf.org.

About the Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing

Conveniently located in the heart of White Plains, Schnurmacher, a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization, is proud to bring one of the nation's leading music therapy providers to expand its services beyond those already available in Westchester County. Schnurmacher is a leading not-for-profit 225-bed skilled nursing facility offering short-term and long-term care. Through a special clinical alliance, it collaborates with Burke Rehabilitation Hospital to provide unparalleled quality in rehabilitative care.

The IMNF and Schnurmacher Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing are members of Beth Abraham Family of Health Services (BAFHS), a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) organization. BAFHS is a leader in providing residential, home and community-based long-term care for the frail elderly, chronically ill and disabled residents throughout the New York metropolitan area. For more information, please call 888-BETH-ABE (888-238-4223) or visit bethabe.org.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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