OLD LYME, CONNECTICUT – FEBRUARY 2009: Sennheiser Electronic Corporation announces its support of Musicorps, a program that provides injured combat veterans recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with professional-grade recording equipment, individualized training and musical collaborators so that they can learn about and create music as part of their rehabilitation. Both musicians and non-musicians have participated with vigor, and the program is credited with contributing to the healing of veterans’ bodies and minds.
Musicorps is provided by Renovation In Music Education (RIME), a non-profit organization that helps communities succeed through innovative music partnership programs. RIME has partnered with schools, orchestras, and even NASA, and its overwhelming successes have been the subject of research at NYU and Harvard.
“I was approached to look at how a music program might benefit injured combat veterans undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center,” said RIME founder Arthur Bloom. “I met with injured soldiers living in a Fisher House where many stay during treatment at Walter Reed. For some, that can be as long as two years. They voiced their pain, frustration and, as the seed of an idea took root, enthusiasm for a music program.
“They’re heroes, and deserve as heroic an effort as we can possibly provide during this extraordinarily difficult time. Musicorps therefore adopts a no-compromise approach in which standards at every stage are as high as possible, from the caliber of visiting musicians to the equipment chosen for workstations. This is definitely NOT some watered down, artsy-craftsy music program. The equipment is top notch, and stays in their residence where they can access it 24/7. They work on projects in whatever style they prefer, from hardcore to classical, and make the kind of progress any musician would be proud of. Indeed, they inspire me every time I visit.”
Equipment consists of computer-based DAWs, input devices such as microphones, keyboards, and guitars, and output devices including monitors and headphones. To that end, participants have been using Sennheiser professional studio headphones the HD 25 SP IIs and HD 280s.
“We were particularly delighted that Sennheiser, our first choice in headphones, generously agreed to provide them,” said Bloom. “Excellent headphone fidelity further encourages program participation because music is always more inspiring when it sounds great! On a personal note, I have relied on Sennheiser headphones for years, and it is an honor to include them as part of this unprecedented effort.”
By all measures, Musicorps has been successful beyond expectations. Both musicians and non-musicians have embraced it, with many working at it hours a day. In unimaginably difficult circumstances, Musicorps helps them remain productive, learn new skills, mark progress, achieve goals, transcend disability, and do something they love, even as they recover from multiple, serious injuries.
In addition to improving quality of life during lengthy and difficult recoveries, Musicorps may also aid healing, especially from traumatic brain injury (TBI), the so-called “signature injury” of the Iraq war that often results from proximity to a concussive blast. Learning, creating, and performing music involves so many aspects of brain function that it is believed to recruit uninjured parts of the brain to compensate for parts that have been injured, in addition to helping those parts that are injured recover.
“Musicorps has been transformational,” remarked Bloom. “I simply cannot describe in words the difference it has made in their lives. And through its contribution, Sennheiser has played a part in each transformation.”
Additional information about Musicorps can be found at www.musicorps.net.
SENNHEISER Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
For more information, please visit www.sennheiserusa.com