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Programs for Adults

Music as Medicine

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra has partnered with Avera and Sanford Health to bring classical music and musicians to the campuses of both health care facilities through the program Music as Medicine.

The mission of the Music as Medicine program is to use music to create a positive impact on patient healing; to assist the South Dakota regional healthcare systems in creating a constructive environment in which to heal; and to allow the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra to have a consistent presence in the healthcare systems of Sioux Falls and serve as a resource to its community.  Music serves as an avenue for healing and comfort for patients, families, staff, and visitors.

The Dakota String Quartet and Dakota Wind Quintet perform at many health care facilities throughout the region including the Avera Prairie Center, Dougherty Hospice House, Ava's House, Avera Addiction Care, and Avera Behavioral Health.

The SDSO also partners with storyteller Darrel Fickbohm in curated performances called "Community Voices" and "Memoirs."  These programs tell the story of a member of our community which is then punctuated by music and performed for their family and loved ones.  Community Voices take place at partner organizations and Memoirs are for senior living communities.


I was in the chapel when the music started and that was a very peaceful and encouraging experience to hear such beautiful music while praying for my infant son’s health and well-being. Thank you.

Avera Prairie Center

I have found that the collaboration with the SDSO in the Music as Medicine program to be outstanding! I have witnessed no behavioral disturbances with this program. We have an average of 80 to 100 patients per time, the youngest being 2 years old, the oldest, 100. Patients respond overwhelmingly with joy and thanks every time we collaborate with the string quartet here at Avera Behavioral Health. This program has been such a positive experience for us.

Dr. Mark Vande Braak PhD, FT, MT-BC.

I have personally witnessed a hospice patient listening to these groups as s/he sat in a wheelchair, often with oxygen, often just weeks or less from death. I have watched the look on their faces: appreciation, peace, gratitude and yes, joy!

Coordinator, Avera Dougherty Hospice House

This is exactly what I need, I can feel the stress lifting from my shoulders

Sanford Doctor