Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition


Founder/CEO: Arlene de Silva

In her quest to improve quality of life of diverse populations, Arlene de Silva founded the Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition (CMWC), the nation’s first community-wide recreational music making wellness coalition. CMWC was founded in 2009 with 30 members and in 2021 consists of 119 members including non-profits, senior care facilities, universities, hospitals, physicians, and musicians from cities in the United States, Switzerland and Sri Lanka. She is writer/photographer of the coffee table book Faces in Aging which includes 60 photographs and stories of older adults from across the world and co-writer/photographer of the book Life in Old Age, a photo/essay coffee table book about the lives of older adults from Switzerland and the United States. Arlene majored in accounting from Aquinas University, Sri Lanka and holds a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music, London, England. She is a strong advocate for eldercare and refugee health.


Advisor: Barry Bittman, MD

Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author, international speaker, researcher, and population health innovator. His work includes the development of community care networks and accountable care organizations, as well as the optimization of medical practice workflows and continuous care protocols. Dr. Bittman is the Chairman and CEO of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute. He has served as Principal Investigator for several published scientific investigations including two molecular research studies focusing on stress reduction on the genomic level utilizing novel creative music expression strategies.

Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition

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Cincinnati Music & Wellness Coalition is the nation’s first community-wide recreational music and wellness coalition. With an approach to whole person wellness, in 2008, a unique step was taken towards strengthening our community. The coalition brought together 30 organizations, physicians, and musicians in Southwestern Ohio and N. Kentucky serving: older adults, caregivers, corporate employees, developmentally disabled, at-risk youth, mental health & chemical addictions, students, refugee groups, healthcare professionals, and ethnic communities. CMWC presently includes member organizations both national and international.

Coalition members offer one or both evidence-based recreational music making wellness programs; Clavinova Connection and HealthRHYTHMS. These programs were innovated by neurologist and CEO, Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute, Barry Bittman, MD, and have been scientifically proven to create positive changes in the immune system, assist with mood stabilization, and reduce stress levels.

The Clavinova is a Yamaha digital piano. Clavinova Connection includes a unique series of music/wellness exercises that were created to harmonize mind, body, and spirit. One hour of engaging in this facilitated program has proven to strengthen an individual’s immune system. The innovative program employs state-of-the-art keyboards and a user-friendly educational technique to introduce the art of piano playing to novice musicians. Each Clavinova Connection session consists of several components: singing, physical stretching, meditation, and drum and sound improvisation. Each section is designed to build confidence and self-esteem, while enhancing relaxation and well being. The program promotes socialization, builds camaraderie, reduces depression and loneliness.

HealthRHYTHMS is a one-hour group empowerment-drumming program, which results in positive immune system changes. Benefits include: enhances self-esteem, empathy for others, opportunity to have fun with friends and make new friends, helps express themselves musically as a group, brings a sense of self-worth and respect for others, teaches anger management, conflict resolution and dealing with grief.


  • Ahmed Obeidat MD
  • Alfonso Ortega, Psy.D
  • Alois Alzheimer Center
  • Andrew Millar DME
  • Area Agency on Aging - New Albany IN
  • Area Agency on Aging- Columbus IN
  • Arlene de Silva
  • Asian Community Alliance
  • Barrington of Oakley - Senior Lifestyle
  • Barry Bittman MD
  • Bhutanese Community of Cincinnati
  • Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging - Lexington KY
  • Brandon Rediger
  • Brenda Morand, PharmD
  • Burundian Refugee Community
  • Catholic Charities Southwest Ohio
  • Cathy Shanahan MD
  • Children's Home of N KY
  • Cincinnati Area Senior Services
  • Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Cincinnati Recreation Commission
  • Cincinnati VA Medical Center
  • Cindi Remm
  • Clermont Senior Services
  • Colerain Senior Center
  • Cora Wray
  • Creative Aging Cincinnati
  • Cumberland Valley KY AAA
  • CURAVIVA - Switzerland
  • Dave Laug
  • Debbi Silverman MD
  • Debbie Kokoruda
  • Don Gauck
  • Doreen Stanley
  • Dot Christenson
  • Eastern Arkansas AAA
  • Eastern KY University
  • Elkhorn Middle School
  • Elsheva Coleman MD
  • Episcopal Retirement Services
  • Fawen Zhang PhD
  • Forest Hills Health Center
  • Gabrelle Nielsen
  • Hamilton County Developmental Disability Services
  • Hari Subedi
  • Harry & Gay Stephens 
  • HelpAge Sri Lanka
  • Home Care Assistance
  • Indy Music and Wellness
  • Jack Hu
  • Jeanne Speier
  • Jennifer Nagrath
  • Jenny Hu
  • Jewish Family Service
  • Jim Waddle
  • Joe Noethlich - Columbus OH
  • John Albert Esq
  • John Berberich
  • John Burgess
  • Journey Well, LLC
  • Judy Betz
  • Judy Singleton PhD
  • Jun Hu
  • Kathy Shoemaker
  • KIPDA - Louisville Area Agency on Aging
  • Life Adventure Center
  • Life Enriching Communities
  • Lincoln Trail Area Agency on Aging -KY
  • Lindner Center of HOPE
  • Magnolia Springs
  • Mamta Bajgain
  • Maneesh Chidambaram
  • Maple Knoll Communities
  • Marielders
  • Mayerson Jewish Community Center
  • Melinda Butsch Kovacic PhD
  • Mercy Health 
  • Mercy Health - Anderson
  • Michael Leadbetter MD
  • Middletown Area Senior Center
  • Mt Healthy Christian Village
  • Musicians for Health
  • N KY Area Agency on Aging
  • Nadia Alkhun
  • Nancy Bick Clark
  • Northwest Arkansas AAA
  • Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices
  • Parkinson's Community Fitness
  • Paul Alexander
  • Peggy Grant
  • Pete Carels
  • Rachel Dorroh - Berea KY
  • Rich Batterberry ret. CPA
  • Ridge Behavioral Health
  • Roberta Schultz
  • Ronald M Miller
  • Ronnie Pochron
  • Rwandan Community of Dayton
  • Sam Marcucci
  • Sana Waseem MD
  • Seasons Retirement
  • Serene Suites
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
  • Sonya Verma
  • Sri Mirle
  • Sunrise Senior Foundation
  • Susan Laffoon
  • Tera De Marco
  • The Healing Space of Cincinnati
  • The Kenwood
  • The Knolls of Oxford
  • The Pavilion at Kenton
  • Thelma Clabbers
  • Thrive Memory Care- 
  • Tricia Morris
  • Trina Carter
  • Twin Towers
  • UC College-Conservatory of Music
  • Walking the Tight Rope
  • Wilmington College
  • Xavier University