The San Angelo Symphony’s Music and Wellness program is an outreach endeavor that taps into the talent, versatility, and commitment of local musicians as they perform in small groups or as soloists before aged citizens as well as their caregivers and family members. Our program has reached seniors and individuals with intellectual disabilities in assisted-care facilities, senior centers, hospitals, and retirement communities. These free performances are an effort to move the symphony’s work outside of the concert hall and into the realm of special populations who are unable to attend mainstream concerts. The ultimate goals include:
- Bringing enrichment through music to special populations, in particular the elderly and infirm.
- Establishing a relationship of trust and camaraderie between the musician and resident.
- Furthering community relevance beyond the concert hall.
- Improving the healing process and reducing stress levels of patients, employees, and patients’ visiting family members.
- Bringing dignity and nostalgic sentiment to those at the end stages of their lives.
Activities that will reinforce these goals may include any or all of the following as the program progresses:
- Musicians perform concerts that evoke a particular time period or ethnic heritage.
- Patients and audience members are given handheld percussion instruments to play along with certain musical selections.
- Performances of soothing and peaceful music are scheduled at times of particular tension for the patients.
- Musicians are paired with residents to engage in friendly interaction and personal performances. The musicians will visit the patient on a semi-regular basis and perform short selections for the patient.
- Patients in the final stages of their lives are able to request songs of particular sentimental value to be performed by the musicians.
The San Angelo Symphony partners with local retirement communities, healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, senior day care centers, state institutions, and hospitals. Through the Music and Wellness program, the Symphony strives to share the magnificent healing properties of music with this worthy and significant segment of our population.