USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music alumna Bronte Ficek (’15, Choral Music) explores the effects of group singing on patients with Parkinson’s Disease in her work as a clinical neuroscience researcher at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. As part of her research, Ficek acts as assistant and accompanist for the Parkisonics, a choir for patients with the condition. Her research uses rhythmic finger-tapping exercises along with auditory rhythmic cues to research why rhythmic cuing helps initiate movement.
Ficek’s research has previously been presented at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. As a musician, she regularly performs with various recital orchestras and with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the chorus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. And in the near future, Ficek hopes to publish her findings on frissons, popularly known as “musical chills.”