WHS students perform for music therapy concert


PLAYING THE CLASSICS: Bryan Huang ‘24 (left), Matthew Zhang ‘24 (middle) and Tarun Subramanian ‘24 (right) perform Bach’s double violin concerto on April 27 during lunch. The group of musicians plans to perform more in the future.

On April 27, during lunch in room 31M, Matthew Zhang ‘24 hosted a music therapy concert for LEAP students, playing calming and therapeutic music. Zhang performed alongside four other musicians Tarun Subramanian ‘24, Niccolo Coccioli ‘24, Bryan Huang ‘24 and Hunter Wang ‘24.

The four musicians had performed in a concert a month before on March 28. They received lots of positive feedback which prompted them to host another.

“We had lots of fun, and the audience enjoyed our performance,” said Coccioli. “It was a success.”

Their performances have an emphasis on promoting mental health by utilizing musical therapy. The Cleveland Clinic describes musical therapy as “the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and self-expression”. The clinic also notes that it is “an evidence-based therapy” that is “well-established in the health community”.

Consequently, Zhang reflects that his personal usage of musical therapy in his life influenced his decision to arrange the concert.

“During the pandemic, I experienced the effects of music therapy as playing violin helped me stay happy and keep negative emotions away” said Zhang. “Afterwards, I wanted to spread awareness on music therapy and use my music to help others with mental health issues.”

Zhang also uses playing the violin as an outlet to express himself and release stress.

“I am very passionate about music,” said Zhang. “I see it as a form of expression where I can convey emotions, and I have played violin for over a decade.”

The group played a variety of difficult and famous pieces, including Bach’s “Concerto for Two Violins in D minor” and Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan”.

“We practiced a lot and dedicated a huge amount of time to perfecting our pieces, but in the end, it was so fulfilling,” said Subramanian. “The Bach double concerto was really hard but also very fun.”

Zhang hopes to make a regular schedule for concerts, at least once a month.

“I will be hosting more concerts in the future, and I hope to host them once a month,” said Zhang. “[We] could even host them twice a month if we have enough musicians.”

Given the positive approval and the players’ enthusiasm, the group is excited to host more concerts in the future.

“Seeing the joy and excitement on the students’ faces as we played,” said Zhang, “is what made the whole experience so rewarding.”