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Sounds of Music: Outreach and Social Media Plan

General Goals

The Sounds of Music pilot program seeks to forge connections through music between elderly, homebound individuals in the NYC metropolitan area. 

The Sounds of Music Accessibility Toolkit and Workshop are being constructed with the goal of facilitating the creation of music enrichment programs in schools, daycares, nursing homes, permanent care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, prisons, hospitals, and other public and private settings.*

* We do not claim in any way, shape, or form to be experts in the field of musicology, music therapy, music medicine, or cognitive behavioral therapy. We merely wish to provide a framework for the creation of music enrichment experiences for a wide variety of populations and audiences. We expect that institutional settings will implement their own best practices in the creation of any program they generate and organize for their patrons to enjoy. 


Our audience is two-fold. We hope to reach elderly, homebound, and handicapped populations with our pilot program. With our workshop and toolkit, we wish to reach out to different institutions in order to provide a method for anyone to create music enrichment programs for a wide variety of populations. 

Our Values/Voice

Music connects people on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Music is deeply, fundamentally human. We believe that music has the ability to move people, both literally and metaphorically. Music connects us to our community and cultural roots, and empowers individuals who create it and listen to it. The bond formed between the musician and the listener is a vital component of what makes a live, synchronous music experience so compelling. 

We believe that music can connect people in new, exciting ways. We wish to bring this form of connectivity to homebound, elderly populations in the NYC metropolitan area in an accessible, easy-to-navigate manner. 

Our values are reflected both on our website and in our program. We believe in accessibility for all, and have created an accessible website that allows users to toggle between high-contrast, grey-scale, and large-font modes. We are investing time in researching how to make our pilot program accessible to those with visual, auditory, or motor-skill impairments. 

Our values are self-evident in our workshop and toolkit, which provides accessibility resources for anyone creating a music enrichment program. We will also include troubleshooting and latency solutions.

Website and Logo

The Sounds of Music Website

Sounds of Music Logo

Social Media Strategies

We plan on creating a Facebook page for our project, where we will disseminate the information we find and the research we have done. 

We plan to update our Facebook once a week for the duration of the project. Facebook will serve as a platform for building our audience, creating new content related to the Sounds of Music, and making important public announcements. 

Communication Strategies

We wish to establish contact with community groups for the elderly, including but not limited to organizations that work with the elderly and the disabled, libraries, and nursing homes. 

We will also keep in touch with and expand our audience through digital flyers and content that will be shared through social media. 

We plan on creating a LinkTree to post to our website and social media platforms in order to direct potential audience members to our social media presence. 

We also plan on disseminating materials about our project on LinkedIn. Additionally, we anticipate performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on our website and each post therein.

Community Initiatives

In addition to updating and maintaining our webpage and or Facebook profile, we plan to explore a word-of-mouth strategy. We plan to start that by exploring three potential links to organizations that work with elderly populations:

Revised What is a Community Garden in the Digital Age?

Brief overview of project

New York City is often known as a “concrete jungle.” While we envision a gray and black landscape, not many pay attention to the actual green foliage that quietly engulfs the city. During the Covid-19 pandemic the interest in green spaces heightened and highlighted the necessity of green areas for people living in New York in order to ensure their well being. One way to encounter and interact with green spaces are the many different community gardens spread all over NYC which have a long history dating back to the 1970s. But as the world progresses deeper and deeper into a tech driven society, humanity must do their due diligence in keeping up. This seems to be a contradiction given the wholly untechnical nature (pun intended) the point of these gardens hold. But how can we come to understand community gardens by exploring their digital presence? and what does this mean to the garden’s work? Those are the questions we hope to answer in our project. To complete this task we will look into data sets and information taken from already established websites such as GrowNYC and Greenthumb as well as data census’ on community gardens. Once we compile as much information as we can, we will visualize them through Tableau and upload our data vis models onto an interactive website. Our goal for this project is to not only make this curated data more readily available, but to also highlight trends and oddities that have gone unnoticed from previous data collection. Additionally, to create a project that also reflects the people of these gardens, we will also try to conduct a smaller ethnographic research study to better get an understanding of the importance of these gardens’ digital presence. Moreover, with the myriad of gardens available in NYC we anticipate the possibility of some not having info available on the web. Our project will also likely be an outlet for these “web anonymous gardens” to have a digital footprint. In all we consider our work to be data collection as well as an awareness project. Our end goal is to help both the gardens and those interested in learning or helping these gardens. 

The question/problem it helps answer:

In essence, we are aware there is already a  plethora of digital information on community gardens available. Our objective is focused on helping these gardens become even more digitally accessible in a way that is more engaging. The graphic representation we will provide will be an effective and easier way to communicate the vast data already collected. As mentioned above we will complete this task by looking into data sets and information taken from already established websites as well as a public data census’. Then we will scan the digital presence of each and every community garden in New York CIty and create a visual map of gardens that have a presence and those that do not. This map will have different components that will aggregate the data found in our research. We will also do a deep dive that showcases the different types of community gardens and how they label themselves. We believe that this can be beneficial to local residents who would like to know what the gardens around them have to offer as well as an indicator to divulge if individual info is available on a website/social media account. The omission of a web presence can bring awareness to the community and possibly provide an incentive for those involved to create one for their garden. This can in turn highlight potential new ways of engaging volunteers.   

Project audience

This project will be for those interested in getting a better understanding of what a Community Garden is, but we will mostly focus on people interested in joining a community garden. Our work will also be beneficial to future data researchers/digital humanists who wish to expand on the digital work centered around these gardens. 

Contribution to DH & potential impact:

We do not wish to recreate digital portals like GrowNYC and Greenthumb. Instead we hope to explore what is a Community Garden as digital humanists by looking at data available online. Our project will create a digital interactive map of NYC showing information about the different types of gardens, sizes, accessibility etc. It will be for anyone to explore what these gardens’ digital presence can tell us about what it means to be a community garden in New York City. This blueprint web resource can hopefully be a hub for those interested in learning or interacting with these spaces, and help create awareness for the community gardens. In addition we will re-engage dead or outdated websites and have their digital presence reignited. Our ethnographic research will attempt to find out the reason why some of these gardens do not have a digital presence established, among other unforeseen questions. Perhaps their answers will lead to the discovery of discrepancies within the community. As mentioned above this will also be beneficial for other digital humanists working with community gardens.

Feasibility assessment:

The data needed to create a proof of concept model for this digital project can be collected in the duration of a college semester. We are aware that our small ethnographic research might only be possible later, since many gardens are closed at the moment due to the winter weather and non public entry. 

What digital tools/methods/team member skill sets will be needed to realize the project?  Project Manager/Documentation: Faihaa

Will be the general overseer of the group and plan for steps to move along progress, will keep track of Google spreadsheets listing data that has been found thus far, Will keep track of all contact info, will be involved with collecting, organizing and analyzing data.

Developer/Designer/ethnographic research: Benjamin

Will design and conduct small ethnographic research with the targeting group, build a website (or other digital representation) and assist on researching

Documentation/Research– Nelson 

Will be able to collect data. Able to travel and communicate with community garden leaders. Able to research historical information regarding community gardens in NYC. Eager to learn digital tools in order to present data visually, either by graphs or maps. 

All team members will be involved with Outreach. Our project also counts as Outreach!


We are interested in using Tableau Online and creating a WordPress interactive website

Legal or technical barriers

  1. Communicating with community leaders at the garden. Possibility that they won’t respond or want to divulge information that can be made public. 
  2. The data we collect might not be sufficient enough to create a meaningful project.
  3. Time constraints might be too much .
  4. Unforeseen events: Weather, Covid restrictions, online tools become unavailable?

How will you tackle those potential pitfalls if your project is selected?:

  1. The team would have to find creative ways to collect data overwise, via already established information on the web or contacting people who do similar projects. 

2.Reduce and shift the amount of gardens that are being contacted. Possibly restrict the type of data that is being collected. 

3.The team would need to have the foresight and have conversations among themselves on how to lead this project in the most ethical way possible. 

 4.The team would need to react accordingly and be quick thinkers.

Final product (even if tentative):

It is our intention to build an interactive website/tableau/map to present the collected data that we hope gives a better understanding of the digital presence of community gardens and their accessibility.

Sounds of Music: Updated Project Proposal

Sounds of Music

By Caitlin Cacciatore, Felicity Howlett, and Raquel Neris

Team Members & Roles

Felicity Howlett

Primary Role: Project Director

Secondary Role(s): Notetaker, Outreach Specialist, & Primary Researcher

Caitlin Cacciatore

Primary Role: Web Designer & Technical Coordinator

Secondary Role(s): Copy Editor & Secondary Researcher

Raquel Neris

Primary Role: Operations Manager

Secondary Role(s): UX Designer & Visual Design Specialist 


On March 11, 2020, when the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, the abrupt termination of in-person, interpersonal communication upended traditional practices in work, play, and study. The sudden social isolation that followed was alleviated somewhat by the rapid installation of dedicated online networks intended to re-establish communication patterns and networks. As time went by, it became apparent that these newly constructed online pipelines could be creatively employed to connect people who had, for reasons of age, health, handicap, or other disability, remained out of the loop, isolated from the mainstream of human social activity, and for the most part, overlooked.

Sounds of Music is an interactive online experience that strives to reach an audience of elderly, homebound, and handicapped populations. Those who find it difficult to leave their home for these reasons often become isolated. We seek to remediate this through community participation opportunities for music aficionados for those for whom in-person activities are not always an accessible option. Our pilot program focuses on providing services and education for a small group in the NYC Metropolitan area. We hope to build lasting connections, encourage neuroplasticity, and ignite a sense of passion for music within participants. This proposal invites the participation of the digital humanities community as its role expands from the academy into the broader public sphere.

The program operates from a WordPress website platform in order to disseminate information about Sounds of Music. Zoom will be used to facilitate interactive communication and screen sharing.

Environmental Scan

In 2018, Felicity volunteered for a music therapy program under the direction of Concetta Tomaino, musician, music therapist, educator, cognitive specialist, and director of the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF). IMNF developed from the research and clinical studies that she and Oliver Sacks[1] conducted during their years of working together at the Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx. Her experience includes decades of exploring how music can assist, support, and enhance the quality of life for people afflicted with cognitive, physical, and/or emotional difficulties. The program, designed for veterans, did not exclude other interested individuals. Some demonstrated signs of dementia, while others suffered from anxiety or PTSD. Cognitive difficulties and physical handicaps were also in evidence.

There were an abundance of drums, tambourines, and shakers to choose from. Different combinations of flute, piano, guitar, and bass were performed, depending on who attended, and vocals and karaoke accompaniments were produced from online sources via cell phones. Sessions were jovial, lively, and compelling. People who swore they could not/would not sing, sang, and even soloed with a microphone. One gentleman, long past 90, danced with amazing grace. The music often stimulated memories which would then inspire discussions. Songs were drawn from the deep traditions of American, Latin American, Caribbean folk and popular culture and jazz. The atmosphere of well-being in the room reflected the joy at sharing this music together.

The gradual evolution of the program to an online interface brought with it the realization of its potential to bring music, interaction, enjoyment, and a sense of well-being to a largely untapped audience of elderly people—those who are isolated, confined, and unable to travel.

Participation in this program inspired the desire to build a similar project, one for elderly, aging, homebound populations. Sounds of Music was borne of a wish to bring music enrichment to all who could benefit from it, and features a ‘do-it-yourself’ workshop component through which any interested party could create a framework for their own music enrichment experience. Sounds of Music differs from other programs of its kind in that it is more than just a pilot program and musical enrichment experience; it is a tool for creating, facilitating, curating, enhancing, and enabling music enrichment experiences for any age group or population demographic.

A Sample of Similar Programs and Activities      

Although we are not aware at the present moment of online, interactive music programs specifically created for the isolated, elderly, disabled population, a survey of online music programs reflects intentions ranging from pedagogy to entertainment, from therapy to general interest, from probing deeply into specific categories to simple, popular entertainment.

Daniel’s Music Foundation.                 

New York City, NY

Daniel’s Music Foundation is a thriving music center in New York City that offers musical activities and lessons for individuals with handicaps from age three through adult. Its enrollment increased significantly since it has gone virtual.  Activities include many types of instrumental lessons, games, music education, songwriting, and special videos. It is an astonishingly creative, vibrant source for music education, performance, and enjoyment.

In contrast to the educational and ensemble focus of Daniel’s Music Foundation, our program will focus on shared musical experiences through listening, singing, performing, and conversation. Opportunities for further exploration of specific items of interest may become part of the texture.

Fred Miller’s Lectures in Song             

Sergeantsville, NJ 08557

Singer, entertainer, lecturer, sage, and raconteur, Fred performs at various venues – libraries, community groups, retirement facilities—60-75-minute theme-based musical programs specializing in American Popular Song’s Golden Age. From the piano, he performs, lectures, and offers insights into the material. Several dozen previews are available on YouTube, and, on occasion, he offers free online programs from a base at the Hunterdon Public Library.

The comfortable spirit of Fred Miller’s highly entertaining, and informative programs is something we would like to invoke. We are focusing our efforts on creating a program with a higher level of interactivity and engagement.

Music Mends Minds: Restoring the Rhythm of Life   

Los Angeles, CA

Music Mends Minds is a nonprofit organization with a strong therapeutic focus that creates musical support groups for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and other neurological disorders. It uses music “to help elders cope with neurogenerative diseases across the globe.”  Global online singalong sessions are conducted through Zoom every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.  A board-certified music therapist leads each session in song.

This is a music therapy-based interactive group that incorporates activities that will also be part of our program such as featuring a soloist/participant or singing along with a leader. In addition, to live performances and group participation, we would also explore historical videos of famous performers, occasionally compare performances by different singers, and encourage a more humanities-based approach.

The Sofa Singers                                                                                  

North Wales, UK

Hundreds of people from all over the world join together in real time for 45 minutes of simultaneous singing twice a week on Zoom, led and directed by James Sills.  Signup for individual programs at a small participation fee is handled through Eventbrite. Sills successfully circumvents the latency problem for simultaneous choral participation by providing an upfront invitation and explanation for his format: “The Sofa Singers encourages you to sing as if no-one is listening because they won’t be.  Due to latency (delay) it is not possible to synchronize and hear all of the singers at the same time. But you will be able to see each other so sing with a smile. Afterwards, there’s a virtual tea break followed by some open floor slots where individuals can say hello and share a song, a poem or a story.”

Video clips of Italians singing from their balconies that emerged in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis (see inspired Sills, who had previous involvement with choral groups, to create a website for singers to participate online. Practically overnight, he had it up and running, and its popularity continues.

In contrast to the huge gathering of Sofa Singers, our program intends to bring together small numbers of people in an ambiance where they can get to know one another as well as participate.  While certain activities, for better audio reception, will require inactive participants to be muted, most activities will encourage people to participate in the discussion.

Technologies Used

  • Zoom will be used to facilitate the Sounds of Music pilot project. We will need to consider how to navigate issues of potential Zoom-bombing, or technological failures and issues.
  • WordPress via CUNY Academic Commons will be used as a platform for the dissemination of relevant information about the pilot program of Sounds of Music, as well as the framework we create for future projects involving music engagement and enrichment programs for an aging/elderly, homebound population.
  • Assistive Technologies, including hardware and software for the visually impaired, magnifiers, screen readers, text readers, as well as various alternatives for operating equipment manually or by voice. For defining these technologies, our team is still in the process of doing research and learning how they operate.

Project Management

Felicity Howlett is the Project Director, and is responsible for note-taking during meetings. Raquel Neris is the Project Manager, having set up a Trello for our group where deadlines can be managed and aggregated. We will communicate on Slack, with the expectation that each team member checks the platform daily on workdays.



  • Create a prototype of a WordPress website platform;
  • Populate the WordPress platform with information about best practices, frameworks, toolkits, research, resources, and more;
  • Explore various opportunities for accessibility on the website;
  • Identify and include links to other, similar projects that are of import;
  • Interview Jeremey Deloitte for information regarding other music enrichment programs.


  • Continue to add to the WordPress website, including a section on addressing issues of latency and troubleshooting other problems that might arise;
  • Produce a manifesto of best practices for music enrichment;
  • Identify and interview potential users;
  • Continue Research about the benefits of music enrichment and enhancement programs;
  • Define a model for the Sounds of Music experience that involves a program itinerary;
  • Solicit feedback about the design, layout, and content from potential users.


  • Launch the public-facing version of the website;
  • Promote the website and pilot program on social media;
  • Launch a single session of the pilot program on Zoom with 8+ participants;
  • Solicit feedback from the participants on how to improve the Sounds of Music


  • Create a prototype of the Sounds of Music Workshop (the do-it-yourself guide to creating an interactive music enrichment experience with any given population);
  • Solicit feedback from potential users about how to improve Sounds of Music Workshop;
  • Evolve the website, framework, manifesto, and other elements of the Sounds of Music.


  • Launch the second version of the Sounds of Music project with the Sounds of Music Workshop published on the website.