An acclaimed filmmaker and renowned neurologist were honored Sept. 7, 2011 at the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function’s 2011 Music Has Power Awards headlined by multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein.
More than 100 supporters turned out at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency – The Nightclub of New York to celebrate music's therapeutic power to heal.
The Music Has Power Awards, generously underwritten by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, are presented annually by the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) to honor those individuals in the arts, sciences and business communities whose work contributes to the advancement of vital and often groundbreaking music therapy research, development and programs.
The 2011 recipients are the acclaimed filmmaker Jim Kohlberg and the renowned neurologist Dr. Steven A. Sparr.
“We honor film director/producer Jim Kohlberg for his most recent work, ‘The Music Never Stopped,’ because it advanced greater public awareness of the power of music therapy to reconnect people with serious brain injuries and degenerative neurological diseases with their friends and loved ones,” explains IMNF Executive Director Dr. Concetta Tomaino. “Thanks to Jim Kohlberg’s film, more people than ever before are aware of the breakthrough music-based therapies and treatments that are available should they or their loved ones need them.”
“The Music Never Stopped” is based on a case study by Dr. Oliver Sacks (and a case that took place at Beth Abraham), and chronicles the estranged relationship between a father and his brain-injured son and the extraordinary power of music to reconnect the two.
Honoree Steven A. Sparr is a distinguished neurologist whose clinical research in stroke and behavioral neurology placed special focus on the neurology of music. Dr. Sparr has served as the director of the neurology of music program at the Academy of Neurology annual meetings for several years running, and has lectured on the subject both here in the United States and internationally. A member of the IMNF Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Sparr is also a founding member and director of neuro-rehabilitation at the Stern Stroke Center at Montefiore Medical Center and the director of Neurology Clerkship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
“Dr. Sparr’s research, his writings and his lectures all serve to build greater awareness and appreciation among his fellow neurologists and the broader medical community of the power and efficacy of music therapy to help heal people with stroke, traumatic brain injuries and degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” states Dr. Tomaino. “The more doctors are aware of this therapy, the more scientists are inspired to continue their music/brain research, the greater advances we can make and the greater the number of people we can help.”
The evening featured a live performance by Michael Feinstein and was capped off by a special visit by multi-platinum recording artist Moby. As a noted singer and pianist, Feinstein gives more than 200 classic pop music shows a year and is nationally recognized for celebrating America’s popular song heritage. His new PBS concert special, The Sinatra Legacy, is currently airing across the country; and the companion CD will be released in October.
Moby dropped in from his "Destroyed" book signing to make a birthday toast to Feinstein and the IMNF enjoyed a special serenade by Feinstein who sang a special rendition of Gershwin's "I Have a Crush on You" in support of the Institute’s music therapy programs.
Dr. Tomaino spoke to the crowd about the IMNF’s many highlights over the past year, including increased efforts to bring music therapy to skilled nursing facilities, private homes and community hospitals, and using iPods and employee wellness programs to further expand its reach.
Funds raised will support music therapy programs, along with clinical and scientific research. Previous recipients of the Music Has Power Awards include Dr. Oliver Sacks, Mickey Hart, Remo Belli, Moby, and Henry Z. Steinway.