Integrative medicine – the practice of treating the patient holistically by combining mind, body and spirit – is an often-overlooked aspect of patient care. It is proven that music can play an important role in the healing process.
Recognizing the holistic connection between music and healing, conductor Peter Shannon established a dynamic program based on the musician’s inner healer. After four years of producing the Magic Flute and performing at local healthcare facilities, Shannon partnered with Dr. Jacqueline Huntly, MD, MPH, to further hone the effectiveness of the integrative medicine program. Together, Shannon and Huntly created the Inner Healer Workshop.
This unique workshop, Awakening The Inner Healer, was developed for musicians who currently perform or are interested in performing in the healthcare environment. Musicians contribute unique gifts and skills to the healthcare setting that have the potential to bring a different kind of healing to patients and caregivers. This workshop was designed to further the understanding of the musicians with regard to mindful listening, empathy, compassion, connection and engagement, which are key to the promotion of the healing process. Beyond simple understanding, the program is designed to develop these skills in the musicians, thereby growing their inner healing strengths so they can enhance the impacts they have on patients and their families.
It is recognized, however, that in order for musicians to fully harness these strengths, they need to have the capacity to be fully present – physically and emotionally – for the demands of both their regular work and their work in a healthcare setting. Musicians dedicate years of their lives to education, training and practice and, on a daily basis, must manage the stresses related to health, financial security, performance anxiety and arduous travel schedules. The skills that are taught in this workshop will support the development of musicians as healers for others and, by extension, will also teach them how to bring healing and self-care to themselves. Investment in personal growth has been shown not only to improve individual well-being, but to impact professional performance, enhance communication and relationships at home and at work, and foster teamwork and leadership in the workplace.
Testimonials from the Savannah Philharmonic musicians who participated in the workshop demonstrated how the program enriched their understanding of holistic healing and also broadened their abilities to engage with patients and caregivers in a more meaningful way.
As the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra enters its Tenth Anniversary Season, it remains deeply commitment to providing world-class live music, music education and outreach programs that improve and enrich the lives of residents in the Savannah community.
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