The ability to create and express through the arts is one of the central qualities
that makes us human.
What you need to know:
- Within the music education and music therapy literature there is a substantial amount of theory
and research into extra-musical benefits of participation in a music program. Some researchers
argue that because music is an inherently social activity, music programs afford the opportunity to enhance
children's social skills as well as leadership and cooperation (Gooding, 2009: Enhancing Social Competence in
the Music Classroom. General Music Today. 23, 35-38).
- Given the strong transformative power of music and arts participation on childhood
development, it is not surprising to believe that music's intrinsic social and cognitive links would
not stop at adulthood and beyond. Although the field of research on this fact is still growing compared to
youth education, it is still an essential element to why the arts (and music) are important for audiences of
- It remains a challenge for arts organizations to figure out how to bring meaningful experiences
of music making into the lives of adults (and seniors) in the local community. The BSO is facing
this challenge head-on, creating innovative new approaches to building audiences that produce a richer, more
complex and ultimately more rewarding arts experience.
- Interactive concert formats such as 'Off the Cuff' and participatory lifelong programs such as Rusty Musicians and BSO Academy are three ways in which the BSO is providing adults direct access to the Orchestra's creative process, stepping away from the traditionally static role of arts audiences in
Adults are increasingly engaging with the arts outside of the concert hall through online or new media technologies.
The BSO strengthens links with these audiences through its continued harnessing of new
technologies to enhance patrons' artistic experiences and promote live participation.
currently over 40 of Maestra Alsop's 'Webumentaries
' currently posted on BSOmusic.org. Our own BSO
offers ways for audiences and fans to connect and share their musical insights through social networking
sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. And the BSO is a leader amongst the field for its online and
digital recording partnership with the Naxos label—making its music available instantly to anyone with internet
access across the globe.
The NAMM Foundation lists some highlights and facts on the scientific benefits of playing a musical
instrument. For adults and seniors, these include "Playing exercises the brain and helps fight memory loss. It helps
reduce stress and lower blood pressure. And it can stave off depression and loneliness."
The National Endowment for the Arts has a breadth of other reports and materials examining the non-
musical connections of Arts participation. Check out their 2006 report, The Arts and Civic Engagement:
Involved in the Arts, Involved in Life