South Shore Conservatory’s Music and the Brain Symposium

Kari O'Briant, Molly and Sean cover 2
Kari O'Briant, Molly and Sean cover 2
Glen Campbell’s daughter, performing artist Ashley Campbell, appears as Keynote Speaker at SSC’s Music and the Brain Symposium Photo by Mindy Small/Film Magic

Full-day at Laura’s Center for the Arts for clinicians, educators, researchers, parents and care partners – South Shore Conservatory (SSC), in partnership with South Shore Health, South Shore YMCA, NVNA and Hospice, and the MA/NH chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, presents Music and the Brain Symposium, a mix of experiential and informational learning on how music impacts both the developing brain and the aging brain, on Saturday, March 28, at Laura’s Center for the Arts, 97 Mill Street in Hanover.  Singer/songwriter Ashley Campbell, who worked alongside her father, country music legend Glen Campbell, during his journey with Alzheimer’s, is the afternoon keynote speaker.

SSC Music Therapist Kari O’Briant works with young students, photo courtesy of South Shore Conservatory

The symposium focuses on evidence-based approaches to using the power of music and the arts for enhancing learning, rehabilitation and quality of life, and features keynote speakers and panel discussions. 

Starting at 9 am, the morning session focuses on how music impacts the developing brains of children ages 0 through 22.  Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Jennifer Zuk speaks to her research on how music impacts language acquisition, auditory-motor interactions, brain plasticity, and the neuroscience of language processing and literacy.  The moderated panel includes Dr. Zuk; Dr. Joseph Shrand, Chief Medical Officer, Riverside Community Care; Lauren Pimpare  MBA/HA, president and founder Tomorrow’s Women TODAY, parent and caregiver; and Eve Montague, MSM, MT-BC, Board Certified Music Therapist and South Shore Conservatory Director of Creative Arts Therapies.

SSC Director of Creative Arts Therapies Eve Montague, image by Michelle McGrath PR
Dr. Lisa Wong, image by Jenny Nourse

In addition to featuring Ashley Campbell, the afternoon session, which starts at 1 pm, focuses on how music and arts-based interventions invigorate the aging brain.  Assistant Co-Director, Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School Dr. Lisa Wong moderates a panel that includes Kathleen Howland, Ph.D, MT-BC, CCC-SLP, music therapist, speech pathologist, Alzheimer’s Association speaker; Marcia Vose, care partner; and a not yet specified South Shore neurologist.  Panelists share their observations on how creative arts impact the aging brain, with special emphasis on quality of life, functional skill retention/maintenance, neuroplasticity, and care-partner support.  Discussion centers on using arts-based interventions for those with cognitive processing challenges, including individuals with developmental delays, those living with neuromuscular, progressive diseases, and those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

A SSC Music Therapist works with an elderly student, photo by Jack Foley

Both panels touch upon best practices, current research and emerging trends. Concrete applications will be discussed and, when appropriate, demonstrated.  There will be ample time for attendees to ask questions.

This symposium is the second 2020 signature event marking South Shore Conservatory’s 50th anniversary year.  Other events include a Founders’ Celebration on May 15, an SSC alumni weekend July 23 through 25, and a musical celebration for retiring SSC President Kathy Czerny on Saturday, August 1.

Cost for Music and the Brain is $225 for the full symposium (which includes lunch), $150 for the morning session, and $175 for the afternoon session.  Tickets are available at  Financial assistance is available. Contact Eve Montague at for more information.

About South Shore Conservatory

Celebrating 50 years in 2020, South Shore Conservatory (SSC) is committed to providing access to music and the arts for South Shore residents. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, nonprofit community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving more than 4,500 students of all ages at two beautiful campuses in Duxbury and Hingham, and a new satellite location at Laura’s Center for the Arts in Hanover. Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers over 200 professionally produced concerts and performances annually. Through innovative partnerships with schools, social services and community agencies throughout the South Shore, SSC brings music and the arts out to the community to enrich the lives of residents. Through its Creative Arts Therapies, SSC offers the benefits of music and the arts to people with developmental and emotional challenges. For more information, visit

In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means.  Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

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