Maestro David Dworkin, Founder and CEO of Conductorcise

Every time I visit new venues, I meet the most unbelievable people. I would like to share with you the learning, the joy, and the love I have experienced in my travels.

One of my trips took me to Temple, Texas, one hour from Austin. I was met by Kathleen Brown and her husband Rayford, two of the most gracious people I have ever met. Kathleen is a board certified music therapist. She was head of the outreach program for the Plummer Movement Disorders Center at the Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Texas A&M University. The outreach focuses on Parkinson Disease patients.

I was asked to participate in a Parkinson’s disease day, a day filled with an opportunity to learn and participate in all that has to do with this disease.

I began the day with an hour program of Conductorcise to almost 100 Parkinson disease patients who were assembled in the auditorium. The audience included patients with very severe cases of Parkinson’s and also included those in the very beginning stages. At the conclusion of my program, tears came to my eyes as I saw a sea of smiles, motion, and wonder. Here were individuals that waling three steps proved a great effort. Controlling shaking was impossible or very difficult and yet they all attempted successfully to move to the music. I was told by Kathleen’s husband, who is very involved in the program that if they had announced that they would start the day off with an hour of exercise, possibly ten people would have been in attendance. That certainly was not the case. Stretching muscles, activating the brain, allowing joy and laughter to permeate the mind and body proved to be so healing.

The day went on with discussions by physicians, therapists, and social workers and ended with a speech by a gentleman who had Parkinson’s.

His name is John Brissette. He wrote a book called “What’s Shakin?” on how he conquered the fears of Parkinson’s.

He conquered his fears through humor. He spoke in a rapid but clear voice. He mentioned how he described to people how he would be “just the best cocktail shaker” they would ever know. Or how at Christmas, he would always be chosen as the best bell ringer. His capacity to laugh at the realities of the disease made him strong once again; a beautiful man with a most important message. It was a most inspiring visit. I was asked, “Would I be available if another Parkinson’s day was planned?” I’m sure you all know the answer to that!

Health and Happiness,

Maestro David


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