M3 PT - March 2019

WEST HILLS 7230 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE, SUITE 401 WEST HILLS, CA 91307 WEST LOS ANGELES 10474 SANTA MONICA BLVD., SUITE 435 LOS ANGELES, CA 90025

WWW.M3PT.COM / LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 / MARCH 2019

M3 AND ME

Some of my own patients may not know this, but when I’m not helping people move better here at the clinic, I’m rehearsing for my next big opera performance. I’ll practice singing on my way to work and try to carve out time during the week to visit my vocal coach. And of course, I drive out to East LA every Sunday and practice alongside the professionals at LA Opera for 4–5 hours. It’s a lot to balance with the full schedule that comes from being a physical therapist, but when it’s something you love, you make it work. Opera is a new avenue of expression for me, although I’ve been involved in choir singing my whole life. My mom deserves a lot of the credit for this — she was a professional singer who toured the country as part of a road show in the 1960s. With her as an example, I was almost always involved in one choir or another, be it in church, school, or a community production. Even when I went back east as part of my therapist studies, I found time for singing. TAKING THE STAGE WHEN I’M NOT IN THE CLINIC, I’M PERFORMING

Upon returning to Los Angeles, I got involved with LA Opera. The organization is community focused, aimed at giving local singers of all levels the chance to perform alongside the greats. It seemed like the perfect fit for me to continue practicing my art while remaining fully dedicated to my patients. In fact, I’ve found great success integrating music into my therapy sessions in the past. Once, I had the pleasure of working with a gentleman who’d been a ballroom dancer his whole life. Unfortunately, he’d sustained a brain

injury that made walking difficult and dancing next to impossible. But with the help of his wife, a professional dancer herself, we were able to make a simple box step part of his therapy. I’ll never forget the look of joy on that patient’s face as we were able to get him moving to the music again.

Transitioning from choir singing to opera was a workout for me as well. The storytelling in operatic epics is as much physical as it is vocal — after years of stationary singing, the action- packed emotional performances proved quite

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demanding. I persevered and performed as part of the ensemble in Mozart’s “Coronation Mass in C” last June. As I write this, I’m getting ready to take to the stage again. This month, I’ll be performing in LA Opera’s production of “The Story of Moses.” The performance will be held at the historic Our Lady of The Angels Cathedral at 555 W. Temple St., just a few blocks from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Tickets are free but are limited to four per household. There is also a $1 processing charge. If you like community opera, want to experience it for the first time, or just want to see what I’ve been working on outside the clinic, come watch the show! I’d love to see you there!

“I’LL NEVER FORGET THE LOOK OF JOY ON THAT PATIENT’S FACE AS WE WERE ABLE TO GET HIM MOVING TO THE MUSIC AGAIN.”

I was particularly grateful to get to do my last therapist rotation at the University of Michigan Hospital. Being a part of the campus community, I was able to audition for and become a member of the university choir. As a part of that collegiate troupe, I took part in several major performances, including two at Carnegie Hall. That’s what really gave me a taste for being a part of these larger staged productions.

–Roberta Brehm

LA · 310.275.4137 / WEST HILLS · 747.888.3562 | 1

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