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Concord Community Music School receives Champions for Mental Health Award
Concord, NH
12/03/2014 09:10 AM
The Concord Community Music School is honored to be a recipient of Riverbend Community Mental Health Center’s 2014 Champions For Mental Health Award. The School received the a?ward for its work to bring the power of music to those who face restrictions of disability, distance, or economic status.

“Music has positive benefits on our health,” said Gretchen Grappone, who nominated the Music School for the award. “It can elevate mood, increase motivation to exercise, and even help improve eating habits.”

The Concord Community Music School has partnered with Riverbend over the past 25 years to provide musical opportunities for people with a range of mental health challenges: Music and Movement classes for children with behavioral health needs, weekly blues band rehearsals for adults with mental illness, and music therapy groups for Riverbend’s Adult Step Up Program, Elder Wellness Program, and Health Services Program.

Grappone, a Music School alumna, has personal experience with the positive effects of music on mental health.

“When I dropped out of college due to depression, one of the few things I actually looked forward to during that time was attending the guitar classes offered by the Music School,” said Grappone.

“Music allows us to celebrate our joys, reflect on our sadnesses, quiet our demons, and express all this human emotion that words just don’t do a good job with,” said Music School President Peggy Senter.

This year marks the Concord Community Music School’s 30th anniversary.

“A lot has changed since 1984, but one thing hasn’t changed: our mission of removing barriers,” said Senter. The faculty and staff at the Music School, she said, “believe with all their heart that music is a healing art.”

Over 200 friends, family, colleagues, mental health professionals, and community leaders attended the Ninth Annual Champions For Mental Health Awards event in October, where Senter accepted the award on behalf of the School.

Other awardees were Don Shumway, President and CEO of Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, NH; Donna Raycroft, who led Riverbend’s Parent-Child Centers during 1982-2007; and Senator Sylvia Larsen, a tenth-term New Hampshire State Senator.

About the Concord Community Music School
Concord Community Music School is a full member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and is recognized nationally for program innovation and management excellence. Welcoming adults, teens and children of all musical abilities, 53 artist teachers reach more than 33,000 people in four states with educational programs, concerts, workshops and community partnerships. CCMS has received major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Hearst Foundation, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Jane’s Trust, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and is the 2005 recipient of the NH Governor’s Arts Award for Cultural Access Leadership.

Photo: Peter Evers, Riverbend President; Julieann Hartley, CCMS Music Therapist; Calvin Herst, CCMS Director of Education and Community Partnerships; Peggy Senter, CCMS President; and Heather Oberheim, CCMS Dance Movement Therapist.

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Liz Faiella
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