Musicians and medical doctors both spend hours practicing a demanding craft so that they can perform flawlessly when it counts. It should be no surprise, then, to hear about the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, whose musicians are all practicing medical professionals. From Scales to Scalpels tells the story of this orchestra, and of the surprising connections its members make between their professional vocation and their avocation as musicians. Narrators Joe Barrett and Suzanne Toren bring insight and vitality to their performance of this nonfiction book that explores how a group of talented doctors find healing from their love and commitment to music.
This is the incredible story of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra and the remarkable interplay between music and medicine. You may have read about the Longwood Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in the paper or heard them on your favorite radio station. But the LSO is not just any orchestra. It began in 1982 with a group of talented Boston-area physicians, medical students, and health-care professionals and has since flourished under the leadership of violinist Dr. Lisa Wong, who became president of the LSO in 1991. The orchestra is now a proud, extraordinary group of musicians with fans around the globe.
In Scales to Scalpels, Dr. Wong and Robert Viagas chronicle how the musical acumen of these physicians affects the way they administer healing and, in turn, how their work affects their music. What cognitive and emotional shifts occur when a surgeon transitions from the chaos of the ER to the discipline of the orchestra rehearsal studio? What is it like to make a house call to a poor neighborhood in the morning and then play trumpet in a jazz group that night? Does music heal doctors the way the doctors heal their patients? How does practicing the art of music transform the art of practicing medicine?