Last Tuesday, PSO violist Penny Brill and cellist Adam Liu visited a group of students in the special education program at Baldwin High School. Throughout their time together, they encouraged students to sing, play percussion instruments, dance, or otherwise become active participants in the music-making.
At one point, Penny asked students to softly hit their collarbones with an open palm. The group practiced tapping out the rhythm of the next piece, Aaron Copland’s “Saturday Night Waltz.” Once Penny and Adam started playing, the group continued giving the beat. Everyone became very quiet, still, and calm. It was completely peaceful.
PSO musicians have discovered that “Saturday Night Waltz” is a versatile piece that can bring tranquility, hope, and other positive feelings to people in a variety of settings, including the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s biannual Memorial Services. In Penny’s latest video, hear what role this music plays in comforting the families and caregivers of children who have recently passed away. If you’re interested in learning more about choosing appropriate pieces for music and wellness sessions, check out our Music and Wellness Program Handbook as well!