Alice Galmitz Meltzer
Passion for Music, Family, and Community
Alice was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, NY, the daughter of a pharmacist and public school teacher. She learned to play piano from her cousin who lived next door, beginning a life long relationship with music. As a mother to Ellen and Curt and she ensured her children cultivated a joy of music as well as theater, movies, and the arts.
Connection & Presence
Sarah Culp, community leader and former pastor of Greece Baptist Church contacted Leigh Kirby, music therapist, to determine a meaningful use for a memorial donation in Alice Meltzer's name. Alice's love for volunteering to play music for her church community and area organizations such as Industry school made a music therapy program connected to the community an obvious choice.
When Leigh Kirby connected with colleague Megan Smith, their shared passion for bringing music therapy to the community through a mindfulness lens launched the first 10-week program of Alice's Encore. This organization was borne out of following our hearts, being present with the needs of the community, and indulging in face-to-face interactions that breed true connection.
Alice found comfort in making music for celebrations with family and for coping with life's difficulties, including bipolar disorder. Alice, a Jewish woman, found a unique connection to the community of the Greece Baptist Church in Greece, NY. She accompanied vocalists and volunteered her time and talents by making music with children and families in the congregation and community.
Alice's family and church community honor her life through contributions to Alice's Encore.
Our Community Partners
Cameron Community Ministries
Mary's Place Refugee Center
Greece Family Center
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester
Greece Baptist Church
The Meltzer Family
Megan M. Smith, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a co-founder and executive director of Alice's Encore: Community Music & Mindfulness, Inc. She is a music therapist with experience working with people of all ages in educational, medical, behavioral health, and private settings. Megan is currently an infant/early childhood therapist in the Family Trauma Intervention Program at Society for Protection and Care of Children. Her research has included group music therapy for empathy and self-esteem development in children, and development of a model for music therapy in the Pediatric Emergency Department.
Leigh A. Kirby, MS, MT-BC is a co-founder and executive director of Alice’s Encore: Community Music & Mindfulness, Inc. She is also a self-employed music therapist/piano teacher and adjunct faculty member in the Creative Arts Therapy program at Nazareth College. She is passionate about working with under-served populations to foster human connection and awareness, and in turn build community. Areas of research include music therapy in pain and end-of-life care, and group music therapy for empathy development. Her work is published in The Journal for Alternative Medicine Research, and Pain: International Research in Pain Management.
Group Music Therapy and Mindfulness Towards Self-Awareness and Empathy Development in Children: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study. Oral presentation at Interdisciplinary Society for Quantitative Research in Music and Medicine, Immaculata University, July 24, 2015.
Music, Sound, and Yoga in Trauma Recovery. Master Class at Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY, November 7, 2014.
Group Music Therapy-based Mindfulness Techniques: Clinical Tools and Self-Care. Oral presentation at Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY, November 9, 2014.
Music Therapy and Mindfulness Towards Increased Empathy and Self-esteem Development in Children. Oral presentation at Mid-Atlantic Region American Music Therapy Association Conference, Buffalo, NY. March 11, 2014.
Music Therapy and Mindfulness verses Bullying: A Pilot Study. Oral presentation at Expressive Therapies Summit, New York, NY. November 11, 2013.