I’m a musician who’s been asked to play for a Dance for PD class. What do I need to know to make this class as successful as possible?

If you’ve never played for a dance class before, you’ll probably want to find one in your area to observe so that you have an idea of what’s required. Dance for PD classes use a variety of danceable music, and should be culturally specific and recognizable to the population you’re working with. Clear rhythm, melody and recognizable structure are particularly helpful in guiding people with Parkinson’s disease through dance movements. Dance for PD musicians might cull from popular standards, Broadway show tunes, well-known classical pieces, and other recognizable songs; for dance styles where drumming and dancing are closely intertwined, percussionists who do voice work would be ideal. For an example of the style and approach an experienced Dance for PD musician uses in the class, you can watch the video excerpt here. We also maintain a special resource page for musicians who are actively working with the program. Please contact us for more information.

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