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Alzheimer's Association Schedules Music Social Programs In Westchester

Certified Music Therapist Melinda Burgard leads a rhythmic clapping activity during a recent Music Social Program at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick.
Certified Music Therapist Melinda Burgard leads a rhythmic clapping activity during a recent Music Social Program at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick. Photo Credit: Submitted

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter invites people with Alzheimer’s disease or related forms of dementia and their family caregivers to attend its Music Social Programs.

The programs, offered throughout the Hudson Valley, are tailored to fit the needs of people with both early and middle-stage Alzheimer’s. Early-stage groups are available in Westchester and Rockland counties.

“This is my passion, working with people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am really excited to be expanding so much,” said certified music therapist/New York State-licensed creative arts therapist Melinda Burgard, who oversees the sessions.

The programs offer an opportunity for participants and family caregivers to enjoy some music while forging new friendships. The Westchester early-stage group, which started on Tuesday at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, is presented as a continuing education series, “Music and the Hudson Valley.”

This will include talks on various music-related topics once a month through November. Subjects include musicians who have lived in the Hudson Valley and their music, the Woodstock festival, Pete Seeger’s songs and politics, jazz in the Hudson Valley and more.

Other early-stage groups are less structured and more interactive in their approach, encouraging people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers to reminisce and explore each person's unique connections to music. Sharing individual "music histories” is combined with enjoying live and recorded music.

"Music and the Hudson Valley" is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every fourth Tuesday through November at the Music Conservatory of Westchester at 216 Central Ave., White Plains.

The program is free, but preregistration is required. Call care consultants Pat Gaston or Kristen Bonistall to register or for more information at (914) 253-6860.

Early-stage Music Social group: Rockland County is from 2:30 - 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 and Tuesday, May 10 at Suffern Free Library at 210 Lafayette Ave., Suffern. Call care consultant Debra Kagan-Birkeland at (845) 639-6776 to RSVP.

For additional information about the programs, contact: Dugan Radwin at dradwin@alz.org or (845) 471-2655.

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