SSC to present Music, Brain Symposium

Glen Campbell’s daughter, performing artist Ashley Campbell, appears as Keynote Speaker at SSC’s Music and the Brain Symposium Photo by Mindy Small/Film Magic

WICKED – South Shore Conservatory (SSC), in partnership with South Shore Health, South Shore YMCA, NVNA and Hospice, and the MA/NH chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, presents Music and the Brain Symposium, a mix of experiential and informational learning on how music impacts both the developing brain and the aging brain, on Saturday, March 28, at Laura’s Center for the Arts, 97 Mill Street in Hanover.  Singer/songwriter Ashley Campbell, who worked alongside her father, country music legend Glen Campbell, during his journey with Alzheimer’s, is the afternoon keynote speaker.

The symposium focuses on evidence-based approaches to using the power of music and the arts for enhancing learning, rehabilitation and quality of life, and features keynote speakers and panel discussions. 

SSC Music Therapist Kari O’Briant works with young students, photo courtesy of South Shore Conservatory
SSC Director of Creative Arts Therapies Eve Montague, image by Michelle McGrath PR

Starting at 9 am, the morning session focuses on how music impacts the developing brains of children ages 0 through 22.  Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Jennifer Zuk speaks to her research on how music impacts language acquisition, auditory-motor interactions, brain plasticity, and the neuroscience of language processing and literacy.  The moderated panel includes Dr. Zuk; Dr. Joseph Shrand, Chief Medical Officer, Riverside Community Care; Lauren Pimpare  MBA/HA, president and founder Tomorrow’s Women TODAY, parent and caregiver; and Eve Montague, MSM, MT-BC, Board Certified Music Therapist and South Shore Conservatory Director of Creative Arts Therapies.

Dr. Lisa Wong, image by Jenny Nourse

In addition to featuring Ashley Campbell, the afternoon session, which starts at 1 pm, focuses on how music and arts-based interventions invigorate the aging brain.  Assistant Co-Director, Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School Dr. Lisa Wong moderates a panel that includes Kathleen Howland, Ph.D, MT-BC, CCC-SLP, music therapist, speech pathologist, Alzheimer’s Association speaker; Marcia Vose, care partner; and a not yet specified South Shore neurologist.  Panelists share their observations on how creative arts impact the aging brain, with special emphasis on quality of life, functional skill retention/maintenance, neuroplasticity, and care-partner support.  Discussion centers on using arts-based interventions for those with cognitive processing challenges, including individuals with developmental delays, those living with neuromuscular, progressive diseases, and those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

A SSC Music Therapist works with an elderly student, photo by Jack Foley

Both panels touch upon best practices, current research and emerging trends. Concrete applications will be discussed and, when appropriate, demonstrated.  There will be ample time for attendees to ask questions.

This symposium is the second 2020 signature event marking South Shore Conservatory’s 50th anniversary year.  Other events include a Founders’ Celebration on May 15, an SSC alumni weekend July 23 through 25, and a musical celebration for retiring SSC President Kathy Czerny on Saturday, August 1.

Cost for Music and the Brain is $225 for the full symposium (which includes lunch), $150 for the morning session, and $175 for the afternoon session.  Tickets are available at  Financial assistance is available. Contact Eve Montague at for more information.

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