- Stroke rehabilitation program dedicated to using creative music-making to drive patient-led stroke recovery uses clinical collaboration to develop new ideas and techniques -
- This is the second time the program has been conducted in the United States -
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts partnered with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and AdventHealth to bring STROKESTRA®, a rehabilitation programme utilizing creative music-making as part of a formal clinical recovery program, to Orlando. The learning exchange program, which took place in Steinmetz Hall this week, brought AdventHealth clinicians, stroke survivors and caregivers together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s musicians to develop new ideas and activities to complement treatment delivery.
“Our vision Arts For Every Life® began with the inclusion of an arts and wellness commitment with AdventHealth and with our existing relationship with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra this opportunity aligned perfectly,” said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. “We aim to create partnerships that inspire a meaningful difference in everyone’s life. In this case, the stroke survivors as well as everyone else that had the opportunity to experience the outcome.”
Pioneered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with Hull & East Riding Community Stroke Service (part of City Health Care Partnership, on behalf of the National Health Service) in the U.K., the STROKESTRA® programme uses specially designed techniques delivered by professional musicians and clinicians to facilitate rehabilitation depending on individual patient needs—including physical therapy, communication, social therapy and mood-lifting. Participants and their family caregivers are encouraged to conduct fellow participants and musicians, copy rhythms and create and perform brand new pieces of music with different instruments, including violins, guitars and drums. No prior music experience is required and instruments and activities provided take all stroke disabilities (physical, cognitive, social, emotional, communicative) into consideration.
In the UK pilot study, patients achieved clinically significant improvements in Stroke Impact Scale results with participants reporting improvements in social (91%), emotional (86%), cognitive (86%) and physical (71%) recovery.
"We have seen remarkable evidence of the benefits of using music as a therapeutic medium to support recovery, alleviate symptoms and promote motivation in stroke patients, through the STROKESTRA® programme," said Lisa Rodio, Interim RPO Director of Community & Education, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. “As we continue this work, partnerships with organizations such as AdventHealth and the Dr. Phillips Center are vitally important to the continued refinement of the programme, allowing us to collaborate with our peers in the medical and arts industries to share our research and develop new techniques to improve practice to the benefit of patients and their caretakers in both countries,”
“We are grateful for our partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), whose continued support allows us to engage in important international collaborations like this one,” added Rodio.
During the two-day visit in September, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra members and AdventHealth Rehab and Music Therapy teams shared practices and ideas, before engaging in the STROKESTRA® workshop with local stroke survivors. In addition to the workshop, participants’ families, and local individuals with interests in music and stroke therapy were invited to hear about the STROKESTRA® program and experienced a short interactive performance by the STROKESTRA workshop participants.
This opportunity came to the Dr. Phillips Center nearly six months after the grand opening celebration of Steinmetz Hall, when the arts center first partnered with the world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to debut the new acoustic, multiform hall.
"The healing power of music is incredible," said Dr. Indrani Acosta, a stroke neurologist at AdventHealth. "We know participation in music therapy can help stroke patients overcome depression, and even help some patients recover the ability to move, think, and speak. We are very pleased to participate in the STROKESTRA® program with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dr. Phillips Center, which I hope will open up more opportunities for our community to experience the positive effects of music on wellness.”
AdventHealth is a long-standing partner of the arts center as the Official Medical Provider, naming rights partner for the Dr. Phillips Center’s AdventHealth School of the Arts and the AdventHealth Broadway in Orlando season. In the spring of 2019, AdventHealth and the Dr. Phillips Center launched a groundbreaking research study to explore how the arts can benefit caregivers and care recipients with memory loss, specifically dementia diseases. To learn more about the 2019 memory loss study, visit AdventHealth.com.
For more information on STROKESTRA® evaluation findings, visit the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.co.uk/strokestra.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in downtown Orlando supported by the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors and sponsors. The 698,312-square-foot venue includes the grand 2,711-seat Walt Disney Theater, the community-theater style 296-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, the new adaptable 1,464–1,770-seat Steinmetz Hall and, opening in 2023, the dynamic cabaret-style music room Judson's. In addition, the venue has various versatile event spaces like the DeVos Family Room, the Rooftop Terrace and the 3-acre outdoor Seneff Arts Plaza. In addition, the arts center's AdventHealth School of Arts offers classes, camps and pre-professional productions. For more information, visit drphillipscenter.org. Follow on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.