Named one of Musical America’s 30 Music Professionals of 2019 for her work linking music and medicine at Johns Hopkins, Associate Dean for Innovation in the Arts and Health Sarah Hoover is responsible for advancing initiatives that link the performing arts and health within the Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and entities within the university and Baltimore community. Since her arrival at Peabody, Hoover has advocated for the health of Peabody’s musicians and dancers through developing curriculum and co-curricular programs to prevent injury and optimize performance, facilitated the creation of the Peabody Clinic for Performing Artists, and supported the start-up of a research lab in performance science. With partners at Johns Hopkins Medicine and in collaboration with Peabody’s first Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Dr. Kris Chesky, she is laying the groundwork for a transdisciplinary convergence at the intersection of performing arts and health, encompassing research, clinical care, education, and advocacy to advance health in and through the performing arts.
Hoover’s research in the field of arts in health has led to the development of bedside and lobby music programs at Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as creative aging residencies and sensory-friendly concerts. She has launched Peabody Prescribe, a community arts entity within the Preparatory offering arts experiences to support health and well-being developed in collaboration with researchers and clinicians from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Along with her book, Music as Care: Artistry in the Hospital Environment, the leading text for preparing classically-trained musicians to work in hospitals, these clinical and community programs build educational and experiential career pathways for artists in health contexts. To advance professionalization of the field, Hoover serves as a member of the board of the National Organization for Arts in Health, where she is leading the development of a certification process for artists in healthcare.
In her previous position as Associate Dean for Innovation, Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Community Initiatives, Hoover facilitated a re-invigoration of Peabody’s historic engagement with organizations throughout Baltimore to bring music to new audiences and help students hone citizen artistry and career skills. She shepherded the development of Peabody’s Breakthrough Curriculum and oversaw the founding of Peabody LAUNCHPad, the Office of Community Partnerships, and the Conservatory’s Community-Based Learning program, to support the advancement of an integrated vision for career skill development, entrepreneurship, and citizen artistry.
Prior to her appointment at Peabody, Hoover was a performer, teacher of singing, and music journalist. From 2012 to 2015, she founded and directed the Oyster Bay Music Festival in Oyster Bay, NY, a grassroots experiment in community music that deconstructed the concert stage and broke down the boundaries between audience and performers. As a vocal pedagogue, she developed workshops on vocal health and technique for the Voice Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Royal School of Church Music, and Washington National Opera, among others. Hoover is a graduate of Yale University and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from Peabody. She received additional training in voice science and holds certificates in Arts in Medicine and Performing Arts Medicine.
Music as Care: Artistry in the Hospital Environment