On Saturday, March 28th Woods and the Conservatory co-sponsored “Sounds of Excellence” a sensory friendly concert at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. The concert was held in honor of Stephen Francisco, a longtime Woods resident with a love of music!
About 300 music lovers joined us for the 45 minute show featuring musicians and vocalists. Because the show was “sensory friendly” concert goers were allowed to get up and dance, shout, sing-a-long or whatever else they were moved to do! Some individuals “listened” to the music by standing in front of the stage with their hands feeling the vibrations on the stage floor, others clapped along and got the whole audience involved, and others wore ear plugs to soften the sound while they gently rocked. It was a sight to behold! Perhaps the most powerful moment of the show was when one vocalist performed “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” She introduced it as one of Stephen’s favorite songs and it really moved the audience!
Stephen’s family provided a gift to Woods that provides music instruction and entertainment to individuals in our adult program. In addition to the gift from the Francisco family, The Consrvatory received a grant from Foundations Community Partnership that is used to provide music classes to Woods residents 21 and under.
According to the American MusicTherapy Association, Music therapy interventions focus on enhancing social, communicative, motor/sensory, emotional, and academic/cognitive functioning, or music skills in individuals with ASD. Music Therapists from the Conservatory visit Woods twice a week to provide various music instruction. Students who weren’t able to participate in regular music instruction before, are now able to participate in weekly sessions and are loving it! In addition to the therapy sessions, Woods residents travel to Doylestown once a month for a 45 minute recital.