Posted on December 11, 2014 by Matheny
Matheny residents Jameir Warren-Treadwell and Tasha Santiago-O’Keefe perform “Roar,” assisted by personal care assistant Cathy Ibarrondo.
Art can’t save a life, but it can always enrich one.
While suffering from bone cancer in her teens, Naomi Cohain used art as a vehicle for self-expression, an emotional outlet and a source of comfort. Sadly, she died at age 15. In Naomi’s memory, the Englewood, NJ-based organization ArtWorks: the Naomi Cohain Foundation was formed. It serves children and young adults who suffer from chronic and life-threatening illnesses, giving them and their siblings access to creative and performing arts programs that encourage the use of the creative process as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development.
Every November, ArtWorks presents “Express Yourself,” a creative and performing arts exhibition that provides a forum for artistic expression. The Matheny Muses, a group of Matheny students and patients who share their love for singing, dancing and playing music, led off this year’s “Express Yourself” performances with their rendition of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” As the program stated, the Matheny Muses “remind us not to sit in defeat but to move to the music.”
The Muses are participants in Matheny’s music therapy program, which uses various types of music to aid students’ and patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills, helping them realize their potential in society. Other hospitals providing performers at “Express Yourself” included the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackesack, NJ; St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson, NJ; and PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.
Posted on November 28, 2011 by Matheny
The Matheny Muses, an eclectic group of young artists and performers from Matheny’s choir, performed Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” at the 9th annual Express Yourself New Jersey. The event, held November 13 at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ, was sponsored by ArtWorks: The Naomi Cohain Foundation.
The Matheny Muses selected “Just Dance” in order to share their love for singing, dancing and playing music, hoping it would inspire the dancer within everyone. Although the Matheny students are all in wheelchairs, they feel music reminds them not to sit in defeat but to move to the music, making them feel as if they were back on their feet. The Music Therapy program at Matheny uses various types of music to enhance and improve students’ and patients’ cognitive, physical, emotional and social skills, helping them realize their potential in society.
ArtWorks, the event’s sponsor, provides children and young adults suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses, and their siblings, access to creative and performing arts programs that encourage the use of the creative process as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development. Express Yourself is a creative and performing arts exhibition that provides these children and young adults with an open and loving forum to express themselves through the arts. In a safe environment, filled with families, friends, healthcare specialists and ArtWorks supporters, these children sing, dance, recite poetry, play instruments and stand proudly by their works of art.
Above: Music therapist Megan Chappius conducts the Matheny Muses as they perform Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” From left, students Yasin Reddick, Bianca Mathis and Jameir Warren Treadwell; music therapist Greg Perkins; and student Najee Rogers.
Below: Matheny student Bozena Geraghty uses her feet to play the keyboard, assisted by music therapist Alissa West.