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An orchestra that fuses creativity and science for access

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Increasingly, the orchestra has collaborated with specialists and audiologists to reinforce its motto “Music is for everyone”.

Relaxed and accessible orchestral performances are offered by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as regular components of the playing season.

ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello launched the Relax and Family Concert Series earlier this year and said: spectrum, and people with visual or auditory impairments, sensory and/or communication needs, or learning disabilities.

“The coordinated lighting and sound, sensory breakout spaces and other elements will allow many children and their families to enjoy a live concert for the first time,” said Chicarello.

ASO has partnered with Can:Do 4Kids, a company that provides visual, auditory and sensory services to children, to ensure that it delivers relevant content to its target audience.

At these concerts, children can approach the conductor, make loud noises, leave the concert space, and return to the breakout room provided if desired.

Many relaxed and accessible concerts also include AUSLAN presenters, coordinated seating and lighting, and a visual storybook downloadable prior to ticket purchase on how to get to the venue and what to expect.

Breaking Down Barriers and Assumptions to Rediscover Music

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s Music Rediscovery program delves deeper into the nuances of music and audiology to reintroduce the possibilities of re-enjoying live concerts for the deaf.

Founded and led by CSO bassoonist and clinical audiologist Kristen Sutcliffe, Rediscovering Music aims to create a turning point for people who feel they will never be able to enjoy the music they love again.

Sutcliffe told ArtsHub:These devices are designed to hear your conversations as clearly as possible [not music]Some even say they couldn’t even identify their favorite song when they first got their ear implants.

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Having this understanding means that concerts are tailored to meet the different needs of people experiencing music with implants.

Sutcliffe continues: It’s not a cacophony of sounds. [for those with hearing impairments] When there are too many things going on at once.

“We often work with a lot of familiar works, so people can tap into that auditory memory and enjoy it.”

The program works with Better Hearing Australia Canberra (a self-help group for people with hearing loss) to better target and engage communities.

As a pediatric audiologist, Sutcliffe noted that “breaking down these barriers is critical” for children with hearing loss. [to enjoying music]For adults, it’s about rebuilding that confidence.

These concerts are informal, allowing the audience to chat with the musicians in between and share their passion.

to enjoy music [for people with hearing loss] It’s like the door was closed and opened again.

Kristen Sutcliffe, CSO

Get more and more attention with endless applications

Following the success of Rediscovering Music, the CSO is now considering programs for dementia.

In 2020, the CSO worked with psychology students to launch a pilot program to explore the impact and potential benefits of music.

The CSO explains on their site: The disease is characterized by cognitive impairment, memory loss, poor judgment and attention. The part of the brain responsible for music is often one of the last parts he suffers.

Access to live music concerts for people with dementia is limited, and recorded music and general “music for relaxation” concerts are more readily available.

The CSO continues: From a social perspective, these approaches fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. At one end there is individualized listening without social interaction, at the other end a highly generalized experience.

A pilot music and memory program aims to fill this gap, partnering with Goodwin Aged Care to host weekly concerts for residents by professional musicians at social gatherings.

Heather Roche, a musician and psychology student at the University of Canberra, worked with the CSO to develop the methodology and present the concert. He played a violin solo to see which music resonated most with the residents and created a playlist of popular yet easy tunes to match. Remember.

Sutcliffe, who also led the pilot, told ArtsHub: [of music] It’s always been an interesting process, albeit anecdotal, to try to measure it, and the Music and Memory program was meant to address that.

Accompanying the pilot was a report comparing participants’ symptoms before the program at weeks 4 and 8.

Even in such a short time, the stats were encouraging.

Roche clarified: .’

Sutcliffe adds: In that particular situation, we see the potential benefit of reducing medication thanks to music.

A similar study was conducted by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the UK in 2015, drawing encouraging conclusions about the ‘consistently positive’ effects of live music on people with dementia.

With this statistical evidence, not only would the argument for funding these programs be further strengthened, but it would also open a gateway to benefit a wider audience, such as those with autism and other disabilities. increase.

At a basic level, it demonstrates the potential for real-world impact that can be achieved when art joins forces with science.

“Right now we’re seeing some very interesting intersections between music, science and therapy.