It’s been a few months since we kicked off our ARTS@ARC Music Program with our new Music Therapist, Melissa Guttman. The ARTS@ARC program has since had four concerts: two at Brooklyn Music School and two out in the community. We checked back in with Melissa on the progress of the program.
ARTS@ARC meets every Tuesday and Thursday at the Flatbush YMCA. The program is part music therapy and part concert practice, though Melissa notes the personal growth benefits have been staggering.
“There is one member who never chose his own solo pieces even though he was a fantastic singer because he was shy. He has chosen two songs for this upcoming performance,” says Melissa. “Another singer used to be quiet and shy; now you can’t get him off the mic. He sings so loudly and passionately. He has completely come out of his shell.”
Music is a cornerstone of ARC Board President Jaimie Blackman’s vision for ARC. It allows individuals to increase their focus on concentration while also being a form of self-expression and emotional release.
While most participants sing and perform, two are focused on instruments and some are interested in soundboard and sound engineering. There is truly a place for everyone! Brooklyn Music School provides professional musicians to fill out the sound during concerts, allowing participants to focus on the particular performance aspect they enjoy most.
In the fall ARTS@ARC hosted a Blackbox concert which allowed the audience to be on stage with the performers in a more intimate, unique setting. In December, ARTS@ARC sang in the Holiday Spectacular which featured performances from multiple Brooklyn Music School groups and was brought to life by the community spirit.
ARTS@ARC also hosts concerts in the community. At Thanksgiving they had a show called “Sing and Serve” sponsored by a City Council Member. They also performed at the Tilden House, a local homeless shelter, this past Christmas. Melissa and ARC leadership are looking to expand the community concert program this year.
So what else is in store? Melissa is hoping as the program grows in popularity, she can creating more opportunities for individual instrumental and vocal instruction.
Since partnering with the Brooklyn Music School on the ARTS@ARC program, there has been an increase in interest so please do not hesitate to contact us. To learn more, visit: https://arcny.org/programs-services/artsarc/ or call 718-531-7500.