Community Engagement:

Uniting Clinicians and Musicians in Orlando to Help Stroke Survivors

Dr. Phillips Center curates partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and AdventHealth to Advance STROKESTRA®

In September, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts partnered with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and AdventHealth to bring STROKESTRA®, a groundbreaking, international medical research program, to Orlando. The two-day stroke rehabilitation program in Steinmetz Hall featured a learning exchange session between RPO members and AdventHealth Rehab and Music Therapy teams. The teams had the opportunity to share practices and ideas before engaging in the STROKESTRA® workshop with local stroke survivors and their caregivers.

"This opportunity aligned perfectly with our vision of Arts For Every Life® and our objective to create partnerships that inspire a meaningful difference in everyone's life," said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. "Our vision, along with our partnerships with AdventHealth and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra—which started during our grand opening celebration of Steinmetz Hall—made us the ideal arbitrator for this meaningful gathering of arts and wellness in Central Florida."

The STROKESTRA® program, pioneered by the RPO, studies how creative music-making alongside professional musicians and clinicians can drive patient-led recovery in stroke patients and their caregivers. The program requires no prior musical experience and 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 caregivers are encouraged to participate in various musical activities with different instruments, considering all possible stroke-related disabilities.

"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® program," 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 program, 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."

The musicians, clinicians and participants collaborated throughout the program to develop new ideas and activities to complement treatment delivery. After the workshop, participants' families and local individuals interested in music and stroke therapy were invited to hear about the program and experience a short, interactive performance by the workshop participants.

"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

For more information on STROKESTRA® evaluation findings, visit