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Dracut High Orchestra's Music Spans Generations

Jan 23, 2017 05:11AM ● By Theresa Gilman

DHS students perform at Marland Place

Doctors have longed believed that music brings happiness and well-being to those living with Alzheimer’s disease or similar ailments.
The Dracut High School orchestra recently put this theory into action as they traveled to Marland Place in Andover, Massachusetts to play chamber music for residents.
With little more than preliminary research on the effects of music on the brain, and a desire to share their love of music with residents, the students performed a concert for the residents. Under the direction of Robin Mallory, students played a series of songs selected to bring soothing harmony to the audience.
Soon after the music began, residents were smiling, tapping their feet, singing, and even dancing!

It is difficult to know whether the students or the residents received more enjoyment from the concert. Student musician Catie Riordan remarked, “We didn’t fully understand the impact we could have on these wonderful people. We were expecting only to play music, but then realized our music was bringing back long forgotten memories and feelings. It was a wonderful feeling to give someone a time in their lives when they danced, sang, and loved music-to give back a memory of a time in their lives when they were just like us.”
Whether the music played by the Dracut High School orchestra students had a clinical benefit to the residents is not be known with certainty. However, it is certain that, for one afternoon, music spanned time, distance, and place and brought joy to young and old. 
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