Our Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte brings her perspective as a modern composer to the Enhancing Practice Development conference as their keynote speaker this afternoon.
This is the first conference in Canada dedicated to Practice Development – and it’s pretty big. Leading practitioners, researchers and academics from around the world come together to focus on today’s heathcare practices.
What is Practice Development?
Well, it’s really as simple as it sounds. It’s an internationally recognized approach to developing better practices in the healthcare field.
It involves the collaboration of clinicians, patients, families and administrators who come together to discuss the improvement and evaluation of person-centered, evidence informed care. This specific type of medical practice is becoming more popular all the time. “They function as a group in order to give better care with less politics and hierarchies, and, are more patient focused,” says Abigail.
The orchestral world vs. the healthcare world
As the keynote speaker, Abigail compares her work with orchestras and classical music festivals to the heathcare world. Both systems have different departments, each with professional ranking and dedicated ways of thinking and functioning, but they need to understand each other to work towards a common goal. As well as the varied infrastructure, both systems rely on public and private funding. They both depend on highly trained professionals that must work effectively despite performance stress.
“I will be talking about how hierarchies and pressures of classical music have often left players disempowered and stressed, among other things, and how modern orchestras are trying to empower their musicians. How the competition of performance leads musicians to judge and be judged, causing even more pressure. This directly related to their field where health care providers other than those on the top tier are often disregarded and lack confidence yet bear the brunt of the work. As well, how can I as a composer write the best music to showcase the talents of the performers rather than tie them in knots with technical writing. How and why do I have to take risks. How can I communicate and tell a story through another language. They think all of this relates a lot to their field which focuses on communication and creative care,” says Abigail.
Aside from discussing the changing world of institutional classical music, Abigail discuses composing modern classical music and what affect her childhood deafness had on her musical path. She draws on examples of illustrating communication and storytelling to remain responsible to the musicians, audience and story of her music. Abigial has been commissioned and performed by numerous orchestras She currently runs the New Creations Festival for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the University of Toronto.
Watch Abigail tell the story behind her latest commission A Canadian In Paris that was premiered by the HPO this past spring.