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Atlanta Airport tries something new to make waiting more enjoyable

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    Melissa Stern (WGCL) — Traveling can be stressful for many, that’s why you’ll see musicians around the Atlanta airport to make traveling a little more enjoyable.

Whether you have a long layover, or you arrive early to the airport, you can listen to music from the dozens of musicians hired to play as you wait.

“Being able to bring it back to folks that are having a difficult time, or are super frustrated, it means a lot to me,” said Michelle Winters, a violinist of more than 15 years.

She auditions every year.

“Regardless of what language you speak, everybody understands music,” Winters added.

The program started a few years ago to enhance customer experience through music and their arts program.

“We had sequestration back in 2016, and we really had to find a way to calm customers down as they waited to get through the security lines we had,” said Steve Mayers, the Airport Director for Customer Experience.

They like to think of it as music therapy.

“The program is aimed at making you as comfortable as possible as you go through security as you get to your gate,” added Mayers.

Once a year, the airport holds an open bidding process for musicians.

A panel of judges from the airport sit and listen for an entire day and decide which musicians to select.

“They’re in the busiest parts of the airport, but they can be called to any location at any time,” Mayers said.

There are musicians at the airport daily, and everyone is scheduled at different times.

The goal is to tune out an otherwise stressful experience …and tune in to the music…

“Traveling with a little one may not be the best experience in the world, so being able to play some Disney songs, or some songs they recognize, and they get up and dance, it really helps them, and parents,” Winters said.

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