Claudia Glaser-Mussen, the sassy singer-accordionist of the Grammy- nominated children's rock band, Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could, has a lot to say about her muse, “I can feel my mother's presence on stage, when I perform; she inspires me and I'm able to convey that energy to the audience.” A thread of music runs through Glaser-Mussen’s life, "I grew up in a home where music was a part of our experience,” she says. Music never became more important for Glaser-Mussen than it did in the final stages of her mother’s life, when she was coping with Alzheimer’s disease. In this telling, WNYC radio interview, Opera Mom, Glaser-Mussen and her brother, violinist Matt Glaser, reflected on the role that music had in the care of their mother, Jeanette Glaser-Taubin, a professional opera singer.
“We saw that the music alleviated mom's psychic pain; it bought her joy. Music was a way to bond, when she no longer recognized us,” said Glaser-Mussen. Matt and Claudia would play recordings of Mozart and, Verdi and pieces such as The Marriage of Figaro. “Mom would pick up the soprano pieces; she was able to access those memories of performing.” Music therapy is now an evidence-based expressive arts intervention that is increasingly integrated in health care centers throughout the country for treating a variety of medical conditions. The emphasis in music therapy is not on musical ability or mastery, but rather on engaging in the sensory experience of sound, performance, movement, instrumentation, or voice to affect the patient's well being.