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Perla’s Music Workshop

Perla’s Music Workshop

The fourth in the Empowerment Series of the Jewish Seniors Alliance Snider Foundation Sessions for 2017-18 was held with the co-sponsorship of Congregation Beth Israel on April 17th, 2018.

This year’s theme of “Laughter and Music: Feeding the Soul” continued with a program entitled “Perla’s Music Workshop“. About sixty-five seniors were present to enjoy the event.

The afternoon began with the regular Tuesday senior’s lunch provided by Jewish Family Services. Queenie Hamovich of JFS welcomed everyone and introduced Ken Levitt, president of JSA. 

Ken reviewed some of the JSA programs including the Peer Support Services. He asked the audience to consider joining JSA. He encouraged them to think of volunteering for some of the Peer Support Programs. He then introduced the speaker for the afternoon, Perla Barabak

As suggested in the poster for the event, Perla believes that music helps the body and mind to relax. It also touches the heart and soul, making it easier for feelings to surface. Thus music can provide multiple benefits for seniors. Perla began with some exercises asking the audience to sound out their names musically. She began with her own name and many people joined in. She talked about active and passive listening, for example, listening at a concert as opposed to hearing background music in an  elevator.

Music makes the world go around! Throughout history music has been used in communication, movement, and at social events (weddings, bar mitzvahs, banquets).   It has always brought people together.

Songs represent a culture. In this way music is the song the heart sings. Songs remain with us into our senior years when other memories may fade.  Songs and singing can create pleasure and empowerment.

Perla then did a guided meditation asking everyone to close their eyes, listen to the music and imagine a colour. She pointed out how relaxing this is and how music balances our thoughts and feelings. Perla has used music in her work as a psychologist. She feels that where there is life there is music.

In conclusion many in the audience got up and danced to the music being played.

The next Empowerment Series event Music for Our Hearts and Songs We Love will be on June 25th at Beth Tikvah Synagogue. Caviar & Lace, with Michelle Carlisle and Saul Berson, will perform an eclectic mix of classic, jazz and folk songs.

Written by Shanie Levin
Photography by Alan Katowitz




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