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In her role as Artistic Advisor at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming will host a panel of regional experts to explore the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. The National Institutes of Health’s Sound Health initiative, in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, has inspired Renée to give over 20 presentations on music and the brain in the United States and Canada. In collaboration with Dr. Jean Gispen, the Ford Center has gathered therapists and educators to present their experience with how music affects the brains of children, Alzheimer’s patients, and those with autism.

The event is free and open to the public.


Dr. Jon Fessenden, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Mississippi University for Women, “Music Therapy and Autism: From Neurological Understanding to Musical Flourishing.”

Dr. Kristen Paris, Experimental Social Psychology, Memory Makers Board, “The Positive Impact of Music on Alzheimer’s Patients.”

Dr. Elizabeth Hearn,  Assistant Professor of Choral Music, University of Mississippi,  “Why Music Matters: Building Bodies, Brains, and Relationships through Music in Childhood.”

Dr. Jean Gispen, UM Staff Physician, Panel Advisor

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