Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Did you know? mUse of A Continues to Change Lives

Imagine a room full of people, enthralled by the efforts and talent of the Department of Music's students for 30-60 minutes of free music? mUse of A proudly brings music into schools, hospitals, senior homes, shelters, blood banks and even prisons! A program which has deep roots in both the Department of Music and the Edmonton Community, mUse of A has been bringing together musicians and audiences in the most interesting settings for more than 10 years.

The impact of mUse of A's program touches both audiences and musicians. Following a recent performance at Grandview Capital Care Centre, Carlos, a student with the Department of Music, had this to say about his performance experience:

I performed at the Grandview Capital Care this afternoon, and the audience responded really well. I was expecting people to be not very attentive to the music, perhaps because of their health and mental condition or their physical pains, but they listened really well. Only minor noises made, which is to be expected from a social care institution, and I really lived great moments.

Once I arrived, someone was interested in my instrument and began asking questions, and when I technically finished my 40 minute performance, I announced that was finished my set, but offered to play another song if the audience really wanted it. I received positive applause and after I finished my 'encore' I offered to stay and talk to them, especially those who had any questions.

Many people including staff, residents and visitors were really grateful and complimenting. Even when I was practicing in the reception area before the performance, people were asking me if I was the performer, and said they were looking forward to the performance. The staff said it was so soothing for them to hear the music.

This experience helped me see not only that music does make a difference, but also that being kind, enthusiastic and respectful encourages your audience to want to hear you and get to know you as a person. I could see myself even being a full-time staff at a similar institution offering concerts once in a while for their well-being.

Thank you, Carlos

To learn more about the mUse of A program, or to arrange performances in your own organization, please contact program coordinator Gladys Odegard at (780) 487–4188.
 Reprinted from the University of Alberta Faculty of Music newsletter "In Tune - Words on Music Winter 2011" Thursday November 17, 2011

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