Press Releases

Emotion, Music & Brain Symposium Dec. 2 Conservatory of Music

Date Released: 11/19/2009

First symposium at Purchase on creative connections between music and healing is co-hosted by Music Conservatory and the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. Speakers include experts in music therapy, neurology and neuroscience.

Tapping into the creative connections between music and healing, the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) and the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College,  known for offering the State University system’s most prestigious performing arts curriculum, will present a symposium on December 2,  to explore music and the brain.


The symposium features renowned experts in the fields of neuroscience, neurology and music therapy, such as keynote speaker Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., Professor of Neural Science and Psychology, NYU Center for Neural Science; Concetta Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, LCAT, Executive Director of the IMNF; Steven A. Sparr, M.D., Professor of Clinical Neurology, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (and IMNF Research Advisory Board Member); Tina Brescia, DA, MT-BC, and Lisa Sandagata, MT-BC, of the Music Therapy Institute at the Westchester Conservatory of Music.


“We are pleased to collaborate with Purchase College, State University of New York and to create opportunities for their students to engage with our music therapists to assist in improving the overall health and well-being of our patients,” said Executive Director of the IMNF Concetta Tomaino D.A., MT-BC, LCAT.  “We are looking forward to the symposium, as it will provide an ideal forum to increase awareness of the relationship between music and the brain as well as the important role that music therapy plays in the lives of people with neurological conditions.”


Dr. Robert Thompson, Dean of Music at Purchase, said, “This symposium is the first of its kind on our campus, and offers students in music and psychology an opportunity to collaborate and explore this rapidly developing field of study.”


Attendees  -- from neuroscientists, physicians, music therapists and rehabilitation therapists to anyone interested in the effects of music on the brain  -- will learn current theories and best practices for applying this knowledge to music therapy with adults and special needs children.


The noon – 7:00 PM symposium will take place at the Purchase College  Conservatory of Music’s Recital Hall, and will be capped by an evening concert kicked-off by legendary Latin Jazz and conga virtuoso Candido Camero, Grammy nominated percussionist Bobby Sanabria and noted composer David Amram.


A member of the Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, the IMNF’s groundbreaking and internationally recognized programs use music therapy to assist in the “awakening and healing” of individuals with a wide-range of neurological conditions including strokes, trauma, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. 


Tickets to the symposium are $100 and include dinner. The post-conference concert, which takes place from 7:00PM-9:00PM, is priced at $50.  Tickets to both the symposium and concert are $140.   Admission is free to students and faculty at Purchase College with a valid College ID.   For tickets call 718-519-5840 or e-mail


About the IMNF:

The IMNF is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and a member of Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, a national leader in providing residential, home and community-based long term care for chronically

ill and disabled adults throughout the New York metropolitan area. Founded in 1995, the IMNF is driven by 35 years of clinical observations on the actual effects of music on different types of physical and neurological trauma.  Directed by renowned music therapist Dr. Concetta M. Tomaino, with medical guidance from distinguished neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, its distinctive setting allows researchers to not only apply their theories, but to follow patient rehabilitation in the long term. 


The Institute actively collaborates with researchers and practitioners at other leading organizations to advance world progress in understanding and applying the power of music to promote healing and wellness.  Some of the Institute’s most promising research has been in the areas of music and language, memory, and recovery from nerve injury – leading to groundbreaking discoveries as to how music therapy can heal.


About the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY:

The Conservatory of Music at Purchase College offers a comprehensive musical education at both the undergraduate and graduate level for carefully selected, gifted individuals who are seeking the chance to train, perform, collaborate, and connect with the most talented people in the world of music—individuals who are willing to commit themselves to rigorous training in a forward-looking conservatory environment.

Programs in the Conservatory of Music are designed to guide students toward musical mastery and launch them on the path to rewarding professional careers. With an enrollment of approximately 450 undergraduate and graduate students, the Conservatory offers small classes and close interaction with a stellar faculty of professional musicians, composers, and producers. Music students also have numerous opportunities to perform and have their work presented in a range of venues on campus, in the local community, and in New York City.