There is a lightness in the air that permeates the newly developed classes and gatherings of the Mind Music Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders. On Mondays you can hear the choir practicing: Yellow Submarine, an Elvis Tune or Do Re Me.
Joy Berendt, Music Therapist and Choir Director, Patricia Izbicki, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, board member, and leading the M3F research studies, on keyboards, and Sinjana Kolipaka, volunteer and third-year med student from FAU, faithfully join in to assist. And this March you can hear the Choir perform at the 2024 NeuroArts Symposium at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
At the Mind Music Movement Foundation for Neurological Disorders (M3F) you’ll find participants taking in a yoga or tai chi class, singing their hearts out at choir practice, giving a “one, two punch” in a virtual shadow boxing class or gathering for a support group. Their motto: Keeping Your Mind, Body and Soul Fluid.
The organization is the brain, (and heart), child of Beth Elgort, M.S.W., a transplant from New York in recent years. The motivation was her husband Stephen Elgort’s Parkinson’s diagnosis over 10 years ago. Steve, a likable guy with a big heart and comedic flair is a retired CEO. And like other participants, is engaging fully in the weekly classes and groups that M3F has to offer. Beth’s dream was to create a home away from home for her husband and others with neurodegenerative diseases.
M3F is a happy place, where friends are made, purpose is found – and so is hope. The classes are currently held at Tropical Sands Christian Church in Palm Beach Gardens, FL (and virtually).
Beth, a retired Social Worker from New York, had been the Program Director for an In-Patient Child and Adolescent Program in New York and had private practices in NYC and Long Island. In the short time she’s been in Palm Beach, she has struck a chord of hope for people living with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and other neurological conditions and their families here in South Florida.
The creative agenda of weekly classes breaks isolation walls, builds emotional and physical health and offers clients, caregivers and families support, fun and friendship. “This (all) comes from the love for my husband. I don’t want people to give up,” Beth shares.
In her short time as a resident of Palm Beach County, Elgort has garnered like-minded passion from professionals at FAU and other educational organizations in the area. Together, they are on the brink of a new “song” that may be duplicated in the future in more locations across the U. S. The hands-on research being done allows the medical and care communities to find long-term and permanent solutions.
This is a family, Beth confirms. And a family they are, meeting up to five days a week; Dance for Fluidity on Mondays, Mat Yoga and Stretch on Wednesdays, and Move and Groove on Thursdays, in addition to many more whole body wellness classes, including a caregiver support group. Groups are facilitated by professionals in their field. Events such as birthdays are celebrated, laughter is often heard, and participants have a place where they are understood, cared about and participate in life in ways that may have been previously lacking.
Pat Morgan and Greg Stoda hosted a smashing holiday party this year for all participants and their caregivers. Greg is a participant, and Pat is fully immersed in the program with him. And there are many more in the “family” such as Don, Linda and their dog, little Oliver, and Val and Lana, and caregiver Henry, and Joyce, Dana, and Ralph and Kirsten, and the list goes on. To be a part of M3F is to truly be part of a very special family on a journey together.
The support from the Palm Health Foundation helps keeps this foundation growing along with generous donors each year. Mai Fox, Graphic Designer is the Art Director/Administrator along with the most amazing team of talented compassionate teachers.
Steven J. Frucht, M.D., Director, Division of Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders at the Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, NYU Langone Health serves as the Medical Director. Steve Elgort acts as the Vice President. In addition, numerous other professionals in the fields of art, dance, wellness, and medicine are contributing to the development of life enhancement that M3F is creating for the Northern Palm Beaches Community. And the vision reaches far beyond.
On March 23, 2024, Mind, Music and Movement Foundation and the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts present “Rhythm for the Brain”, a NeuroArts Symposium sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic and South Florida PBS. Keynote speakers and presenters include Guest of Honor, Susan Magsamen, founder and executive director of the International Arts +Lab and author of Your Brain on Art, Brian Harris, CEO and co-founder of MEDRhythms, David Leventhal, founding teacher for Dance PD of the Mark Morris Dance Group, Patricia Izbicki, Ph.D. and Nicole Baganz, Ph.D., Neuroscientists, and Dr. Jason HAO, DOM of Hao Acupuncture Clinics. And of course, the M3F Chorus will also be performing! A Panel of esteemed physicians for Q& A include Amre Nouh, MD, MBA, Randy Blakely, Ph.D., Arif Dalvi, MD, Jennifer Buczyner, MD, and Catherine Drourr, MD.
Tickets are $65 for the Symposium. A box lunch is included. VIP tickets are also available and include a private reception post event to meet Susan Magsamen and other event speakers. Register today at www.m3f.org/events
* The organization also hosts a Coffee Talks Series, providing monthly informative talks given by neuroscientists, doctors and other medical and holistic professionals, that are open to anyone.
* Other M3F 2024 events include Pickleball for Parkinson’s at Frenchman’s Reserve in Palm Beach Gardens on May 7, 2024.
M3F is composing a new song to serve people and families in the Neurodegenerative Disease community, and it sounds beautiful!