Bringing musicians into Autism-focused public schools
Matt Shugert introduced the clarinet and saxophone this week!
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Annalynn feels the vibe

Hello Everybody! Matthew Shugert, our own Ryan Elementary School student teacher came last week to show our kiddos the clarinet and saxophone. They felt the instrument’s sound in their eyes, on their hands and in their hearts (hope that’s not too cheesy). He was so terrific. They were really into it. Lots of smiles all around, singing and dancing. PS I am trying to upload video shortly on the MEDIA page. Please check back. Julie

Julie @ 4:20 pm
Rick Weingarten Performed Today!
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Dear Friends and Supporters: Professional musician Rick Weingarten performed for our kids on the Vibraphone today! He was amazing. The kids each got a chance to play this vibrant instrument, dance, sing and move to the beat. We did the hokey pokey, “she’ll be comin’ round the mountain” and even the Parisian Can Can. It was all we could hope for. The kids helped each other join in, especially the shy ones. They asked for more, they interacted with each other and socialized in complete uninhibited joy. We are so grateful to Rick for kicking off the new season of Brainsong with our ACL gift/grant. I would post video, and we have plenty, but we still need parents to sign permissions to release photos of their smiling faces. It will come soon, I promise! Next week: the Harp with Pam Eldridge!

Julie @ 5:14 pm
We got a grant!
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Dear Supporters and Friends:

As of September 2012, we just found out we got a $500 Grant from the ACL (Association for Community Living in Boulder County). We can now start hiring musicians again to get into the classroom and kick up the music!!! A huge, warm thank you to the ACL. Our hearts are singing!!!

Julie @ 4:19 pm
Drumming Circle
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Gregg Hansen came last week and brought his drumming circle instruments. Special thanks to Amy Self for finding this marvelous musician for us!! The kids banged on drums and made beautiful music together, all big smiles the whole time!! It was magical.

Gregg Hansen hosts our kids drumming circle

Julie @ 1:36 pm
A Day of BrainSong
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We have had musicians every week since February this year! It has been so exciting each time just to watch the kids interact with the musicians, their instruments and the music.

A few hightlights come to mind: The boys played “air flute” and did some break dancing on their own; most weeks the kids have a buddy come in from the typical classroom and it is such a delight to watch them hug one another and dance, and sing. These connections are priceless.

A good example of my daughter, Sarah: When the cellist played her favorite Ode to Joy by Beethoven, at first Sarah was flapping her arms and didn’t want to sit down, but when the tune started she was wide-eyed and sat down, and relaxed in my lap. She watched in wide-eyed wonder to the music and her body swayed and bounced to the ryhthm. She was so happy! It’s not a goal for our kids to take a nap, but Sarah actually fell asleep in my lap!

I will try my best to post weekly updates here of each weekday of music in BrainSong! Forgive me if i miss a week, i am a busy mom shuffling off to therapies! All best, Julie Marshall

Julie @ 6:05 pm
Welcome to our New Site!
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Sarah Marshall and Harpist Pam Eldridge play harp

Did you realize that music is the oldest form of communication? Or just how profound music can be on the brain’s development and abilities? World renowned neurologist, Oliver Sacks (click here to see his book, Musicophilia), has spent much of his life denoting this fact; an entire lab at MIT is now researching the incredible effect music has on our body’s largest muscle. Researchers have shown that in Alzheimers patients, when they are in their last stages of the debilitating disease, and can no longer recognize themselves in the mirror, they can still hear an old, familiar tune, stand up and sing! And when we hear music, we use more of our brain energy than during any other task in life (click here for link to MIT study mentioned on NPR)

So, it makes sense that we, as parents and educators, would turn to music to help our children with Autism fight for a better today and tomorrow.

Welcome to BrainSong — a fledgling program started by a mom and a teacher that brings music into the school in the form of mini-concerts, where children with Autism are free to express themselves, learn and grow. Please peruse this website to learn more, perhaps donate your music skills and visit our classroom, or help pay musicians with big hearts who can.

Sincerely, Julie Hoffman Marshall, co-founder of BrainSong

Julie @ 4:24 pm
Introducing our Musicians
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Here are our wonderful musicians who have performed in the classroom: 

Harpist Pam Eldridge

Cellist Anna Maria Seda
Her bio:
Anna Seda, a native of Colorado, is a 4th year cello student of Judith Glyde at the
University of Colorado at Boulder. She also aspires to have her Suzuki Certificate
from the University of Denver under the auspices of Dr. Carol Tarr. Anna studied
at the Aspen Music Festival in 2006 and 2009 with a CU fellowship award. She
also attended Quartet Program West, the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in
Termoli, Italy, the National Cello Institute, and the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp
for Celtic cello. She has also attended Cello Seminar with Rhonda Rider for new
music. She was a member of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, the Colorado
Young Sinfonia, the Grand Junction Ballet Orchestra, and the Colorado Chinese
Language School Orchestra among others. She participated in the Colorado All
State Orchestra and the Western Honor States Orchestra in which she performed
for a James Fitz master class. Anna also recorded the Schumann Cello Quintet
and the Matz Cello Quartet KVOD Radio and was a finalist for the Colorado
Young Musician’s Foundation Award. She premiered Matthew Browne’s Prelude
and Dance for Solo Violoncello for a Pendulum New Music Concert and his Cello
Concerto in collaboration with conductor Chris Walls. Along with Mr. Browne’s
contributions to Anna’s growing New Music career, Anna has had the pleasure of
playing for George Crumb, Jeffrey Zeigler of the Kronos Quartet, and is currently
working with several upcoming young composers. She plans to go to the Boston
Conservatory for a Master’s Degree in the fall.

(photos yet to come of musicians listed below)

Violinist Ingrid Peoria

Bassoonist Kim Peoria

French Horn, Devon Park

Flute, Ismael Reyes

Cellist Marcello Sanchez
 
Pianist Mary Lou Heslip
Her bio:
Mary Lou Heslip taught public school elementary vocal music in Jefferson and Boulder
Counties of Colorado and in Germany for the Dept. of Defense, for 25 years.
She has had a private piano and voice studio in Boulder and now, Broomfield,
for 39 years.  She is state and nationally certified in piano and voice.
Julie @ 4:20 pm