Posted by Nancy Mazonson

tremble clefsOne of the many offerings of the Parkinson's Family Support program is the Tremble Clefs choral group, which rehearses weekly throughout the year at a church in Newton. Tremble Clefs is a collaboration of JF&CS with the Massachusetts General Hospital speech therapy department, whose goal is to teach people strategies for being louder and clearer when they speak. As voice volume can diminish for some people with Parkinson's disease, participation in the choral group can greatly improve their quality of life.

Last year, we needed assistance each week with the set up and break down of the chairs in the room in which we sing. As the director, I turned internally to JF&CS Services for People with Disabilities and was offered the services of Tom, a participant in the Meaningful Days program. Meaningful Days is a program funded by the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation, Inc. that serves people with disabilities who do not have funding for day programs or job coaching. Tom's case manager, John Wills, analyzed the job, assisted Tom in learning the job tasks correctly, and coached him for several weeks, at which point it was determined that he was a "pro." Tom started providing his assistance to the singers in the spring of 2011. He is a reliable worker who comes rain or shine, by T or by bicycle—all the way from Boston. Throughout the rehearsals, Tom can be seen smiling and tapping his foot to the beat of the music.

When Tom's annual team meeting was held, he was asked what new activities he might want in his life. Tom announced that he would like to take singing lessons, since he has been inspired by attending the Tremble Clefs choral group!

Program integration is an ongoing goal of JF&CS. In this instance, the Parkinson's Family Support Program and Services for People with Disabilities created a meaningful collaboration that had a wonderful, serendipitous outcome.

nancy mazonsonNancy Mazonson has coordinated Parkinson's Family Support program of JF&CS since its inception in September 2006. The program is a leading resource in the Boston area with its unique programs, including Parkinson's Dance, Adult Child and Care Partner support groups, and Tremble Clefs choral singing group. Prior to her work at JF&CS, Nancy worked extensively in inpatient and community-based rehabilitation settings, specializing in helping people with degenerative neurological conditions.