Knoxville Symphony Orchestra—Music and Wellness Program

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's (KSO) Music and Wellness Program was established to explore the ways that music can benefit patients in a health care setting. Many studies have been conducted on this subject with inconclusive evidence, but over the last three seasons the KSO has had the pleasure of witnessing the positive impact that music can have on the morale of healthcare professionals, patients undergoing treatment, and their families.

Conceived by the Music Director, and patterned after a program at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the program currently provides over 33 performances a season. The number served has tripled since the program's inception in 2003. Music and wellness reaches all ages from pre-school-aged children at the East Tennessee Children's Hospital through middle and high school-aged students at the Tennessee School for the Deaf and senior citizens at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. At the Innovations Expo in Nashville during the 2007 Conference, the Knoxville Symphony discussed various aspects of setting up a program, from finding medical partners to working out complicated logistics to measuring results.

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra received a 2006 Bank of America Award for Excellence in Orchestra Education for the Music and Wellness Program.

Jennifer Barnett, director of education and outreach
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