Group Classes > adults

Music Therapy Groups for People with Parkinson’s

Music Therapy Groups for People with Parkinson’s

Music therapy is an established health care profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy uses music to achieve therapeutic aims. For PWP’s, music therapy has been shown, in research, to improve motor skills, vocal production, and social and emotional health.

This program’s objective is therapy using music; other WCMS offerings are available for PWP’s wishing to supplement their musical experience with more formalized instruction.

Sections Offered:

in-person group

Music Therapy for PWP (In-Person)

These in-person group sessions with music therapist Shayla McDermott are open to anyone with a Parkinson’s diagnosis and a love of music. No prior musical experience is required!

Sessions will be split into 3 components/goals:

  • Vocal strengthening
  • Movement
  • Community connection

Vocal strengthening will include facial exercises, breathing exercises, warm-ups and singing for breath support and volume.

Movement will include gross and fine motor rhythmic movements to music, either standing or sitting depending on ability/interest of group members. Movement experiences may include the use of movement props such as stretchy bands/octabands, or the playing of musical instruments. We may also learn a dance or dance style together, or improvise expressive movement.

Community connection involves conversation and music related to emotional support and community building. This may include looking at lyrics to a poignant song or sharing a musical interest/topic among the group.


Free for all participants. Tuition has been underwritten by generous WCMS donors.

Day & Time


10:30 – 11:30 AM
Shayla McDermott
5-week spring session:
• May 13 and 20
• June 3, 10, and 17

* additional intro session to follow in August


Register online or email us for more information.

please note

Caregivers are welcome but not mandatory. Participants should be otherwise self-sufficient; no nursing care is available. Open to all levels of cognition and physical impairment. Email us or call 781-721-2950 for more information.

remote group

Music Therapy for PWP (Zoom)

This remote therapy group offers weekly sessions via Zoom with music therapist Monika Gibbons. Participants can connect to the session with video or with audio only. New members are welcome to join at any time, and the program runs throughout the year.

The typical session includes:

  • Sharing and support time
  • Vocal and light physical warm-ups
  • Group singing (unison)

The program aims to adapt, as practical, to a PWP’s current musical comfort zone. It provides a safe opportunity to progress musically at a level appropriate to each participant. No musical experience is required. 


Free for all participants. Tuition has been underwritten by generous WCMS donors.

Day & Time


1:15 – 2:15 PM
Zoom (video or audio)
Monika Gibbons

• Runs throughout the year
• New participants can join anytime


Email us or call 781-721-2950 to enroll.

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Non-Discrimination Policy: Winchester Community Music School welcomes students of all backgrounds, regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.



Winchester Community Music School
407 Highland Avenue
Winchester, MA 01890



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