Together in Music is a collaborative community music therapy project whose goals are to offer children and adults with special needs an opportunity for growth and support through experiences of hearing and making music with an orchestra.
Music therapy is the clinical use of music for the purpose of helping people who suffer from physical, neurological, developmental and psychological problems, challenges or disorders. The inherent and universal power of music to create connection and express human emotion is at the core of how music therapy works.
· To offer children, adults and their families the opportunity to be a part of a positive and enriching musical experience.
· To offer families the possibility of attending a symphony performance as a family, in a safe environment.
· To foster the connection between people from the special needs community and musicians in orchestra
· To create experiences in which everyone can take pride.
· To bring about opportunities for families to celebrate their children and siblings, no matter what their age.
· To expand the horizons of the families, their music therapists and the orchestral musicians.
Together in Music is a multi faceted program integrating music therapy clients into performances with ensembles of classical musicians and symphony orchestras. We connect music therapy clients with musicians in a variety of venues, creating unique musical experiences.
Modeled on symphonic education concerts and shaped by the principles of group music therapy, Together in Music offers a new concert model which has the potential for sweeping change for symphony orchestras. Through the power of musical collaboration, we can offer our orchestral musicians, music therapists and their clients new ways to find common ground.
This is a project is founded on partnerships. Our core mission is to facilitate partnerships between orchestras and music therapists with the promise of mutually advantageous possibilities: new and expanded audiences for orchestras and access to main stream musical events and experiences for music therapy clients.
Watching this 6 minute video is the best way to understand what Together in Music is all about.
· Musical experiences offer the potential for connection and growth.
· Music can provide connection where verbal language may not
· Musical experience with an orchestra can be transformative.
Our concerts bring together:
Typically developing children and children affected by developmental or neurological disorders and their families.
·Adults affected by developmental or neurological disorders
Music therapists and their clients.
· Classical musicians and their ensembles.
"Words simply cannot express the plethora of emotions running through our minds as we watched our son live his dream with you at the helm. Truly a most magical moment that will forever be cherished and celebrated. A heartfelt thank you and a well deserved Brava..."
"THANK YOU for your time and effort dedicated to this wonderful event, we are truly grateful for the memory it created."
"We are still so elated over the wonderful concert on Sunday. What a thrill it was to see Taylor perform with a live orchestra and to do it so well."
"How many people can say that they have played with a professional orchestra? And how many have been allowed to participate with such gusto? It was really wonderful, and as my friend said who came, “It was just magical!”
"The interplay with the audience and the loving embrace of the orchestra for these students and their fans was remarkable."
"Barbara Yahr’s love for all kinds of people and her desire to bring music to all of our hearts via this compassionate and professional setting was daring, loving and magnificent."
"We are still so grateful for the gift given to each of us by each of these musicians in the orchestra."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We are grateful for your vision and for your hard work."
· Any music therapy client, adult or child, has the potential to be an active participant in the concert.
· Anyone committed to the process can participate.
· No previous experience playing an instrument required.
· No music lessons of any kind are required
Conductor Barbara Yahr’s career has spanned from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Ms. Yahr is currently in her seventeenth season as Music Director of the Greenwich Village Orchestra, an ensemble known for its innovative and collaborative projects, offering a full season of classical music to the community in lower Manhattan.
Ms. Yahr is a board certified music therapist, licensed by the State of New York. She earned her MA from New York University and and post-graduate certification from the world-renowned Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy in New York City. She has worked with a variety of populations and currently is on staff at Westchester Medical Center where she works with in-patient psychiatry patients.
Her pioneering, community music therapy project, Together in Music, brings orchestral music to the special needs community with uniquely interactive programs.
As a conductor, her previous posts include Principal Guest Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, Resident Staff Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel and Music Director and Conductor of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Bayerische Rundfunk, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Frankfurt Radio, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Janacek Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington D.C. She has conducted the orchestras in Anchorage, Calgary, Charleston, Chattanooga, Columbus, Detroit, Erie, Flint, Louisiana, Lubbock, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Tulsa, Tuscaloosa, Queens, NY as well as the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and the Chautauqua Festival Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared in Israel conducting in both Jerusalem and Elat.
As an opera conductor, she has appeared and led new productions in Frankfurt, Giessen, Hannover, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and at The Mannes School of Music in NYC. She has coached the actors on the set of the Amazon Series, Mozart in the Jungle, and has presented her work with orchestras and the special needs communities at the last two Conductors’ Guild National Conferences.
Ms. Yahr is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College where she studied piano and philosophy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music studying with conductor and scholar, Max Rudolf and an MM in Music Theory from the Manhattan School of Music. She was also student of Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine.
Ms. Yahr has two adult step-children and lives in Chappaqua, NY with her husband Alexander Lerman, a psychiatrist and 16 year-old son, Ben Lerman, who is a violini