Feel Good Friday. Seriously, It Only Takes Nine Minutes.

Just a fun pointer today to an article in the 2/4/2020 edition of classicalfm.com that examines a new report from the British Academy of Sound Therapy that apparently quantifies the amount of time it takes the average person to experience a therapeutic effect from listening to music.

Their study, Music as Medicinetested 7,581 participants and found that 89 percent believed music to be essential for their health and wellbeing, so there’s no doubt that it plays an important part in our daily lives.

While 90.15 percent participants used music to relax, 81.80 percent used it to make them feel happy, 46.5 percent to process and/or release sadness, and 32.53 percent to aid concentration.

On a related note, kidsburgh.org published an article highlighting the upcoming retirement of Pittsburgh Symphony violist, Penny Anderson Brill. The connection to the above study is Brill plans on spending time expanding her existing programs that use music for therapeutic benefit.

After wondering why music therapy was not used more often in hospitals, she connected with music therapists and began the advocacy part of her crusade. Her first success was with local foundations, which funded two hospital music therapy positions.

Brill’s pioneering work has led to more official and expansive music therapy efforts at local institutions. Children’s Hospital’s infrastructure now enables her to expand from one-on-one contact to sessions with a small group of kids. Those sessions can be broadcast into the rooms of patients who are immunocompromised.

I’ve seen Penny’s work in action and can say she doesn’t even need nine minutes.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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