“Turn, Turn, Turn” To The Sound Of Music Therapy

Little can compare to the power of song and its copious powerful effects on the self. On Saturday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lecture Center, the 11th annual Mid-Atlantic Passages Conference titled “Turn, Turn, Turn” is coming to SUNY New Paltz for the first time. The SUNY New Paltz Student Association and Music Therapy Club are co-sponsoring this event.

The Mid-Atlantic Passages Conference is a music therapy forum free of charge for students, professionals and the community of New Paltz to join together and explore the clinical experiences, intervention strategies, experiential music, self-growth and reflections on the therapy process.

Timothy Gannon and Kristin Ryan, the co-chairs of the conference, said it is “a learning conference.”

“This program allows current music therapy students and recent graduates of SUNY New Paltz to experience presenting in front of an audience of peers, new professionals and veteran clinicians,” said Gannon and Ryan.

According to the co-chairs, members of the community and undergraduate students are encouraged to attend and gain a more in-depth understanding of what music therapy is and how music is applied in a therapeutic context for personal or community growth. With over 120 people registered, the community of New Paltz and local businesses can expect an influx of visitors from all around the country in addition to international visitors.

During the conference’s lunch break, attendees can enjoy local restaurants at a discounted price. The conference will begin with a welcoming from  Ryan and Gannon, Student Affairs Advisor Conio Loretta, and Michael Viega. This is followed by two Keynote addresses: the first from Linda Richards, music director at Clearwater and lead singer in R&B band Soul Purpose and the second from Kenneth Aigen, an associate professor in music therapy at New York University.

“We are honoring the life and legacy of Pete Seeger and his commitment to influencing social, political and environmental change through the use of music,” Gannon and Ryan said.

Richards will speak first about Seeger’s life and how he used music “as a catalyst for change, a medium for protest and a way to deliver a message of hope.”

Concurrent sessions then begin through the Lecture Center. Gannon and Ryan said it is here where students and new professionals present their research, case studies, applications for music in treatment, personal processes in developing as therapists, self-growth experiences as individuals and as clinicians and growth of the client receiving music therapy services.

The conference will come to a close with “The Folk Song Assembly: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Pete Seeger,” where attendees are encouraged to share and experience folk music from Seeger and other folk artists’ catalogs.

In the evening, attendees are invited to Oasis Café to enjoy a performance by Aigen and his band the Stella Blues Band.