G.N. North High School team wins innovation challenge

G.N. North High School team wins innovation challenge
Photo credit: Great Neck Public Schools

A team of musicians from North High School has won the top prize in the 2024 Young Musicians Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Students Daniel Perlman, Jacob Podwall, and Eliav Sehati, who submitted their proposal with guidance from instrumental music teacher Esther Noh, will receive a $1,000 grant to implement their project, “Chamber Music as Music Therapy in Nursing Homes and Hospitals.”

The team’s initiative is inspired by the activities of the North High Community Music Project, a student-led club that has performed concerts in local nursing homes for the past two years. Group leaders Daniel, Jacob, and Eliav found the positive audience reaction to be powerful, especially for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

To support their project proposal, the students reached out to professional music therapists for guidance on how to incorporate this science into their chamber music performances.

This grant will award $1,000 to the group to fund four coaching sessions with a music therapist, Timothy Doak, as well as percussion instruments for the patients. The group will also receive mentoring from members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Several performance dates are already in place for the spring, and the group plans to expand their reach to local children’s hospitals, such as Cohen’s Children’s Hospital.

The Young Musicians Innovation Challenge, now in its fourth year, gives high school musicians the unique opportunity to compete for the chance to launch innovative chamber music projects with mentorship and financial support from CMS.

Projects are adjudicated by a panel of judges based on creativity, viability, sustainability, and ways in which projects address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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