Since February 2023 I’ve been part of the Youth Music Night at the Hornbuckle Foundation Community Center. This music night provides a safe environment for kids affected by addiction in their family to play music, regardless of their background or training. There are no prerequisites for participation and every kid is encouraged to try playing any instrument or singing, even if it’s a brand new experience for them. Here are just a few of the benefits of playing music:
First of all, simply having a safe space to express themselves is vitally important for kids’ confidence and self esteem. But there are myriad benefits for their developing brains, including the following:
Music activates numerous regions of the brain, including the auditory and motor cortex. Playing a musical instrument has been shown to increase cognitive ability through enhanced neuronal communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, resulting in positive effects on learning, memory, fine motor skills, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, resulting in an overall more capable brain to apply in a multitude of settings.
Children with at least 3 years of instrumental music training outperformed their control counterparts on auditory discrimination ability and fine motors skills as well as vocabulary and nonverbal reasoning skills
Because music can activate almost all brain regions and networks, it can help to keep a myriad of brain pathways and networks strong, including those networks that are involved in well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and happiness.
Boko has served as music director for both the 1st and 2nd National Tours of the hit musical Wicked. He music directed the world premieres of A Room With a View at the Old Globe, And The Curtain Rises at the Signature Theatre and the Off Broadway musicals The Kid and Bunty
Berman Presents. Boko spent three years music directing Rent on Broadway after having music directed both national tours, as well as supervising the Australian production. Other conducting and playing credits include Swing!, Mamma Mia!, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, The Who's TOMMY, Sunset Boulevard, Frozen, Waitress, Jersey Boys, Aladdin, Book of Mormon, CATS, Les Miserables and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.