Connecting With Music Therapy
Andrea Green is a true visionary whose persistence has made her an agent of social change far beyond the Philadelphia region where she lives and works. While it is impossible to calculate Green’s vast talent, commitment, and legendary passion for helping others, it’s not hard to understand why this composer and playwright has begun to garner so much attention around the world.
Green creates a unique product- metaphorical musicals for children that are vehicles to reduce intolerance and prejudice. Thousands of school children have already experienced her shows, transforming their lives by having internalized a deep sense of social consciousness and responsibility through learning to be accepting and tolerant of themselves and other people.
Green's musicals for children engage performers of all ages and their audience members with compelling dialogue, catchy tunes, and Broadway style song and dance numbers. Not only do students love these performances, each of Green's fourteen original shows has at its core an important social message that demonstrates the impact of negative consequences of hatred and intolerance. What's at stake in each musical is the reality that tolerance, like hatred, are learned behaviors. Once observed, acknowledged, and examined, the metaphorical musicals teach youngsters to question their old attitudes, and then replace them with acceptance and respect, thereby instilling in children a process that teaches them to have empathy for themselves and other people’s differences.
Green's "musical" framework encourages a community or group effort, presenting a strong ever-present chorus, providing the support and opportunity for every child to step forward and be heard. In societies increasingly comprised of diverse individuals, the value of Green’s work is significant not only for students and educators, but for the audiences and all members of society. Green's work is a beacon of hope for the future, and a barely tapped reservoir containing untold worth.
Professionally trained as a music teacher and music therapist, Green’s passion and determination to make a difference in the way children view themselves and others is reflected in her metaphorical musicals, three of which have been published and are often selected by music directors and theatrical producers throughout America. One award winning PBS documentary recounted one of her early success stories and another is under production in Philadelphia. Green’s musicals for children allow us to look at ourselves and others through characters and situations that enable performers and audience members to realize and restore their own fractured attitudes and behaviors- essentially mirroring issues with which individuals and societies constantly grapple. Green’s shows have the unique ability to demonstrate the intolerance individuals and groups hold and then teach tolerance in its place. Best of all, Green’s metaphorical musicals can and have successfully been duplicated on many stages; adapted for large and small ensembles of varying ability levels, background, and communities in a wide range of milieu: urban, suburban, ghetto, village or town.
At a time when schools, communities, and society as a whole struggle to come to terms with how to eradicate bullying, hate crimes, and other forms of aggression and violence that are direct outgrowths of bias and intolerance, we need a much broader platform upon which Andrea Green’s metaphorical musicals for children can be performed and viewed to bring about necessary changes in both attitudes and behavior. Thousands of children and audience members have already performed and benefitted by Green’s shows in Philadelphia, and the venues have begun to spread. Past performers attest to the life altering experiences and messages they internalized and incorporated into their lives. What remains as the next challenge is to reach, engage and teach the rest of the world’s children of all ages, using Green’s metaphorical musicals, to accept themselves and learn tolerance for others.