We impact communities through our music outreach programs, reaching an extensive range of people. Below, read about us from Nathan Adelson Hospice, Las Vegas Rescue Mission staff and clients, an elementary school principal, and high school students.
During November 14-18, 2016, Notes with a Purpose presented Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, to nine schools and three community venues. Our visit to Nathan Adelson Hospice gave the staff a few remarkable things to say:
"The performance in the chapel had to rank as one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen and heard in my time here. After a long day of work to hear a cello play with such richness and grace helped me release the stress and weariness I was carrying. And if this was a comfort to me it was even more amazing to see the patients and family members assembled who were dealing with so much more. The sight of an elderly patient slowly but deliberately approaching the performance in her walker with childlike wonder on her face almost reduced me to tears. Music provided a singular and deeply spiritual space in which all the sadness and slow anxiety that so often attends the process of aging and dying in the medical system could be once acknowledged and held and yet at the same time be transcended. The sweet mystery of music for the short space of a performance became a balm in the midst of the mystery of human mortality. I thank Alexandria for a most welcome intrusion of musical grace into our work."
Rev. Matt Metevelis, Chaplain
Nathan Adelson Hospice
"Working in hospice can fray your nerves, even when you think you’re impervious. Suddenly, talented musicians show up and the beautiful, rich sounds they produce soothe every part of the being – mind, body and emotions. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the program and how beneficial it was to me – and I’m just an employee. Having worked in hospice for almost 11 years, I am aware of some of the pressures on the patients and family members. To be able to offer that respite from their day-to-day worries was such a blessing. They have music channels on the televisions in their rooms and could just as easily have stayed put, but the lure of live music brought the ones who could get there down to the chapel to listen. Their faces seemed more relaxed, more at peace. That’s a direct response to the talented performers and the quality of the music and I thank you for sharing with us."
Lisa Browder RA, ICA, CR
Complementary Therapies Manager
Bonnie Schreck Complementary Therapies Program
Nathan Adelson Hospice
"We were treated to a very special performance by Notes with a Purpose on Monday evening at the in-patient unit of Nathan Adelson Hospice. Three members of Decoda came in to serenade our patients, their families, our staff and volunteers. I personally was overjoyed to be able to hear the music resonate through the unit and it brought me to my feet to find where it was coming from. As I approached their set location of our chapel, I was pleased to find several patients enjoying the much needed and uplifting break in their normal days activity. About 30 minutes in to their session I overheard a patient’s family member on the phone telling whoever he was speaking to about what he was hearing. He said, 'Music from a group affiliated with Carnegie Hall is here playing, mom is just ecstatic.' He smiled at me and I could see the difference in his facial expression versus earlier in the day when I saw he and his mom outside in our courtyard. We were so grateful to have the group here providing a distraction and just overall warmth to our special family here."
Volunteer Program Manager/Camp Erin Las Vegas Director
Nathan Adelson Hospice
Notes with a Purpose has partnered with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter, food pantry, and recovery program in downtown Las Vegas. LVRM benefits from our regular performance series during dinner services for their visiting and regular clients (including those in the addiction recovery program) from music provided by high school music students. In turn, the students are provided opportunities to develop altruism, community awareness, confidence in public speaking, and satisfaction in their own artistic endeavors. NWP has partnered with the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts’ piano department, where there are 80 piano majors.
Through tailored professional development workshops, Notes with a Purpose brings excitement and ingenuity in the young musician’s artistic development to utilize their music skills in innovative ways to benefit their hometown community. They've already begun talking about what preparing and participating in this outreach has meant for them:
“I am most excited about being able to share the beauty of music with underprivileged audiences and possibly making their day a little better.”
“The diversity of people [was the most surprising thing about my first visit]... It was an experience to be playing the piano amidst the chaos. It was like being in the eye of the storm."
— Paige T., grade 10
Paige, as of February 2017, has dedicated 18 visits to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
“The workshops helped me a lot because personally, I am afraid to speak on stage, and it gave me more skills as well as more power in everyday situations.”
“I found the friendliness of everybody [during my first visit] to be surprising. Never before have I received as many compliments. Everybody was open and I would definitely do it again."
— Dejan, grade 9
Dejan, as of February 2017, has dedicated 13 visits to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Dejan also encouraged his friends, a violinist and violist, to join him during these visits. They have been using their visits as a platform to premiere their own trio arrangements of video game music. When they aren't present at the Wednesday dinner services, people have inquired: "Where is my video game trio?"
“We’re definitely from two different worlds — I don’t understand where you’re coming from, but I see the beauty in it. It’s something I want to be exposed to more. It really meant a lot you being here and just coming here. It means a lot to a lot of people.”
— Geoff, an addiction recovery client at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, in response to the first live music visit provided by Notes with a Purpose. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he admits to listening to classical music every day to meditate, a practice he started from Notes with a Purpose's first visit.
“There are fewer flareups when the music is happening."
Marcus, volunteer coordinator, explains to the students that it is noticeably calmer (with fewer "flare-ups") when there is music going on during the first dinner service (which is open to the community). Flare-ups are caused from people having heat exhaustion, going on/off medications, and the like, and causes them to be escorted out of the dining center. We are happy to be lending a hand in creating a calm, peaceful environment.
“Thank you for coming.”
The students and our NWP staff hear this time and time again every Wednesday from dining patrons. The simple thank yous are enough for us!
On our Music JuiceBox Series program:
"I want to thank you for allowing your performers to visit the students at Tanaka Elementary. Their musical background and giftedness with instruments was outstanding. I however was even more impressed with their skill at educating and entertaining the audience. I thoroughly enjoyed their presentation of music history along with the audience interactions. The overall presentation was simply brilliant and quite frankly one of the best I have ever seen. You are always welcome at Tanaka!
Tony J. Davis
Tanaka Elementary E.S."