Classical cheer: HeartStrings

Soothing the soul

Classical cheer: HeartStringsFor those who attend intimate performances through the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s HeartStrings program, the music can be soothing to the soul.

Most of the audience members are unlikely to ever attend a classical music performance in a concert hall due to long-term illness or developmental, intellectual or physical disabilities. These high-caliber arts experiences held at local health care facilities acclimate participants to the music-making process. Michelle Kaebisch, former director of education and community engagement for the MSO, developed a manual based on this concept. With the help and support from community players like Central Wisconsin Center and Johnson & Johnson grants, Kaebisch and Shannon E. Lobdell published HeartStrings: A Guide to Music Therapy-Informed Engagement for Symphony Orchestras in 2012. It’s a manual that aims to help musicians and musical organizations worldwide create a music therapy-informed engagement program.

What is social innovation?

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth

Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.

Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.

Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

The M List
Madison Magazine‘s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its third year, the M List recognizes those making strides in the area of social innovation. Last year’s list of innovators were in the food industry. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.

Click here to return to the 2015 M List.