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October 25, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Music therapy benefit concert supports students, awareness, scholarship

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University students will present guitar, singing, tap-dancing and other musical performances when the Music Therapy Club offers a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 27, in Swope Recital Hall.

More than 25 students will demonstrate instruments and explain music therapy as a profession that helps people improve their cognitive and motor skills in clinical settings.

Proceeds will support the club and help music therapy majors attend the Mid-Atlantic Region American Music Therapy Association conference in the spring.

"It's a music therapy advocacy event," said Deedee Evans, a music therapy major from Ellwood City. "We're hoping to teach people what music therapy is and what we do."

SRU's music therapy major prepares graduates for employment in hospitals, nursing homes, special education classrooms, shelters, prisons and group homes. SRU has been a leader in the field, making 35 years as a program last year and currently enrolling 60 majors.

Evans said the concert would offer student performances on piano, cello and small ensemble performances comprised of piano, classical instruments and vocalists.

"I am pleased, the nice thing about it is students will be performing on instruments that are not their main instruments," said Susan Hadley, SRU professor of music and music therapy program coordinator. "Out of the concerts that I go to, this one has more of laid back feel."

Evans, who plays flute, piano, guitar and sings, said SRU's music therapy program matches her career goals and lifelong interest in music.

"I have done music since third or fourth grade. Music has always been very important, and I knew I wanted to help other people," she said.

SRU's music therapy program offers students advantages for career preparation by incorporating technology into classes. Last fall, the program launched the Sue Shuttleworth Music Therapy Clinic in honor of the late Sue Shuttleworth, who founded the SRU program in 1977 and retired from SRU in 2009.

The clinic offers state-of-the-art recording equipment, a one-way mirror and observation room, and a variety of music instruments including pianos, a drum set and wide range of percussion instruments.

The suggested donation for Sunday's concert is $3 for students and $5 for the general public.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.