Born of Need. Fueled by Passion.
Founded in 2006 by Dr. Ruthanna Metzgar, SongShine began when The Traub Parkinson’s Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA asked her to create a music class for Parkinson’s patients. Dr. Metzgar, with forty years as a university voice teacher and ten years of collaboration with Otolaryngologists and Speech Therapists, felt called to serve. She requested classes be open for all with neurological disorders and aging voices. After a successful pilot study, she directed the program for five years at Eisenhower. In 2011 SongShine became a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt public charity. In 2011 she was joined by Juilliard-trained professional actor, Peter Harris. Both are passionate about their individual disciplines, which have been combined to create a powerful arts based program bringing voices to life.
The Heartbeat of the Human Experience
Sent to us by neurologists, speech therapists, and support group members who sing our praises, each participant means the world to us. The ability to regain your voice and vocabulary, and experience the pure joy of interacting with like-minded people, is a lifeline. When people feel connected to something greater, it affords a newfound sense of wellbeing. Building confidence and community, forging a better quality of life, is part of the SongShine – and the human – experience.
Read what others have to say — or take a moment to view a video of stroke survivor Dr. Pam Meoli or this video of actress Shirley Claire to see for yourself the impact SongShine has made on the lives of so many.
“We are forever grateful to this program.”Cherie Young, caregiver to Steve Young
Cathedral City, California
[ Click here to view a video testimonial by Cherie and Steve, including an inspiring audio clip of Steve ‘before and after’ his participation in the SongShine program. ]
“Before taking SongShine classes, my voice was so soft I could barely hear myself.”Harry Hulson
Palm Springs, California
[ Harry is now able to speak on the phone, carry on conversations with people for extended time and resume activities that require the use of his voice. Harry has made an excellent solo CD and has sung in karaoke settings. He made his solo singing debut with the SongShine Singers in February 2008. Prior to developing Parkinson’s, Mr. Hulson was an accountant; after SongShine, music has become a new passion. ]
“As my Parkinson’s has progressed, I have been fearful that I would have to quit singing and that my speaking voice would just get softer and softer. Now I know that won’t happen. You [SongShine] have changed my life forever.”Joyce Olson
“SongShine helped me recover my ability to speak again.”Bill Parry
Covenant Village of Turlock, California
“Four years ago, I noticed a tremor in my right hand. My voice was getting weaker. I have Parkinson’s. Then three years ago, I discovered SongShine. I’m not as sad as I used to be. Now I’m happier and my voice is coming back — I sing every day — I have many new friends. SongShine has changed my life.”Myron Thielman
Palm Desert, California
“I am eighty-one years young and have spent most of my life working in the theater as an actor, singer, and dancer. For the past six years I have done very little and with the onset of Parkinson’s disease my voice has suffered greatly. By attending SongShine, through the aid of Ruthanna, my voice has gained clarity and volume. Not only is the class beneficial for my voice, she is food for my soul.”Geoffrey Webb
Palm Desert, California
SongShine Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax exempt public charity.