Audiences Tune in to Music Therapy

Publication: Golden Triangle News

Author / Writer: Tanya Kurland


Healing Concert To Feature Violin Prodigy

An upcoming concert featuring the talents of violin prodigy Eugene Ugorski will not only impress audience members, but soothe their souls and promote healing, organizers say.

“They will experience the music a little bit differently than just going to a concert and sitting back and listening,” said Barbara Reuer, Ph.D. in music therapy.

The concert, hosted by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, will take place Saturday, Jan. 15, between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., at the Neurosciences Institute, 10630 John Jay Hopkins Drive. An outdoor dessert reception will follow.

The Scripps Center, located at 10820 N. Torrey Pines Road, offers a full spectrum of care, from traditional medicine to scientifically validated complementary approaches, through clinical research, education, prevention and lifestyle changes. The board of Scripps Health Foundation wanted to create an event “as unique as integrative medicine itself,” said Sheri Alazraki, the foundation’s director of development.

“It’s all about balancing mind, body and spirit…. We have research to indicate that music can be a very big part of the healing component and add to one’s quality of life,” she added.

Reuer and Dr. Mimi Guarneri, medical director of the Scripps Center, will make a presentation before the concert performance.

According to the center, several research studies have demonstrated the impact music has had on the body. Used before surgery, music can lower patient anxiety and stress, reducing the amount of anesthesia needed. Research has also shown that music decreases the side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, vomiting and anxiety. For women giving birth, music can shorten the length of labor. Music is also used in the treatment of substance abuse, children with autism and adults with Alzheimer’s.

Reuer teaches a 12-week music therapy class at the center, instructing her students to listen to the music and create their own sounds while taking them through guided music imagery. She also has them hum or sing along and write music. Different types of melodies and instruments are used, “since what one person may like or respond to may be different for another person,” Reuer explained.

Although anyone can benefit from the program, most of the students at the center are being treated for disease or prevention.

“[Music therapy] helps everyone, both physiologically and emotionally,” Reuer said.

At the concert, she will discuss the benefits of music and its connection to the brain. She will also be on hand during the reception to answer any questions. For more information on her classes visit

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1989, Ugorski was an accomplished musician by the age of 9, making his professional debut in 1998 as one of the soloists with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra. Today the 15-year-old prodigy is gaining national and international attention, having recently performed on opening night with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra. The teenager will be accompanied by his parents, Valeri, a flutist, and Luba, a pianist, also both accomplished musicians.

Tickets are $30 per person. Money raised will be allocated to the Scripps Center for future community education activities.

To purchase tickets for the concert call Suzanne Swanson, (858) 678-6364.   [ end ]


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