Prelude to the Dream

From ECO soloist Dr. Martha Summa Chadwick
Serious Hands

The ECO chamber music concert on Monday evening April 13th is designed as a unique celebration of both the aesthetic and therapeutic value of music. While much is known about how music influences mankind on the hedonic level, little is generally known about how music is actually experienced in the brain and how it can be specifically directed to actually help rebuild neural networks that may be damaged due to disease or accident. This concert event seeks to bridge this gap in the form of an artistic event designed to create beautiful music in a traditional concert setting, while also raising awareness of the benefits of music in a therapeutic setting. Entertaining while educating, that’s what this week is about for interested ECO audience members!

RuC_Schumann_LithoThe first half of the performance features the beautiful Piano Quartet in E flat composed by Robert Schumann. The Quartet was composed in the year 1842, Schumann’s “Chamber Music Year” when his probable bi-polar disorder was working in extreme harmony with his compositional efforts. The influence of Schumann’s compositional alter egos, the dreamer Eusebius and the outgoing Florestan are evident in all four movements of the work. Eusebius is particularly present in the achingly beautiful theme of the third movement of the piece, which then transitions into a vigorous and contrapuntal fourth movement finale where Florestan triumphantly shines through. Unfortunately it would only be a dozen years after this composition was completed before Schumann’s neural afflictions eventually became too powerful to live with and he was driven to a suicide attempt, afterwards sending him to an asylum for the duration of his days. Joining me in this quartet will be Music Director Matthew Kraemer, violin, Jennifer Jansen, viola, and special guest Paul Miahky, cello.



The second half of the concert focuses on rhythmic joyfulness in a composition that encourages the audience to feel how the rhythm can dance within the body’s Central Nervous System. Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano is a delightful mix of jazz and classical music elements that weave around each other, sometimes in dialogue and other times in dance forms. The work is in seven movements and full of rhythm that inspires the listener to effortlessly tap fingers or toes to the beat, thus experiencing the effectiveness of music in helping to promote muscular body movement. For this work, I’ll be performing alongside David Graham, flute, James Mohney, bass, and Brad Amidon, drums.



Music can have a powerful influence on motor, speech, or cognition outcomes in the body. The week of the 13th has a full concert schedule for the ECO, but much time will also be spent working with the Barber National Institute students, therapists, parents, and educators to give a taste of how music can help improve the lives of persons with special needs. For more information about these organizations, please visit the following links:

Barber National Institute
Music Therapy Gateway In Communications
Martha Summa-Chadwick

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