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Music for Health Initiative Receives National Recognition


For the second year in a row, the Grand Rapids Symphony has been awarded a prestigious national grant in recognition of our innovative Music for Health Initiative, now in its third year. 


With support from the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation and the League of American Orchestra’s Getty Education and Community Investment Grant, GRS Musicians are bringing music to people in new ways that are designed to be helpful and healthful. In a variety of programs developed by a team of GRS musicians and Spectrum Health music therapists, small ensembles working with neuro-rehab and cancer patients have already reached over 800 patients, families and health care workers this year.


To learn more about the recently announced Getty Grant and our GRS Music for Health Initiative, continue reading for excerpts from the press release distributed nationally by the League of American Orchestras or visit the GRS website to see videos of the program in action.


(for the full press release click here)


22 Orchestras Receive

Getty Education and Community Investment Grants

from the League of American Orchestras


Twenty-two orchestras from across the United States have been selected by the League of American Orchestras to receive Getty Education and Community Investment Grants for 2015-16.


Intended to help stimulate growth and excellence in education and community engagement programming, the grants will fund orchestras’ long-term in-school and after-school music programs with social development components, as well as orchestras’ health and wellness programs for populations including hospital patients, people with developmental disabilities, homeless mothers, and the families and healthcare providers of these groups.


A total of $425,000 was awarded for this year’s grants, the fourth year of the $ 2 million re-granting program made possible by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. The orchestras, encompassing a full range of budget sizes, will receive individual grants ranging from $15,000 to $27,500 for a variety of community-based programs taking place during the 2015-16 season. A prerequisite for qualifying orchestras was the existence of partnerships with local community or social service organizations.


The initial 115 applicants were narrowed by an independent advisory panel of experts to 32 semi- finalists; all programs were then judged on a number of criteria, including innovation and relevance to community needs, strength of partnerships, extent and quality of professional development, and strength of evaluation activities, among other assessment categories.


Health and Wellness


The Grand Rapids Symphony, MI, for Music for Health Initiative


The Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) Music for Health program is a collaborative music therapy program with Spectrum Health that serves patients, families, and health care professionals through the addition of GRS Musicians to Music Therapy interventions. Program goals include bringing live music into health care settings; creating positive physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences for patients, families, and health care providers; and continuing to develop the relationship between the Spectrum Health Music Therapy department and the GRS in order to promote rehabilitation and quality of life in the patients and residents of Spectrum Health Continuing Care sites.


The program’s therapeutic goals include enhancement of movement, communication, and cognitive functioning through engagement in therapeutic music interventions developed collaboratively by the music therapist, interdisciplinary team, and GRS members. This program targets Neuro-Rehabilitation and Oncology patients served by Spectrum Health’s Music Therapy program, as well as their families and the Spectrum Health professionals caring for them.


During 2015-16, program plans include the expansion to additional patient support groups, partnerships with Western Michigan University Music Therapy students, and offering services to Spectrum Health’s medical professionals for their professional development. Further, through proposed integration of Music for Health’s music therapy services in existing main season programming, wider and younger audiences will be served.

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