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Live Music in the MICU Creates Positive Environment

Music therapy, which can facilitate physical well-being, has caught the attention and interest of Mount Sinai’s medical ICU, which has begun to measure its benefits for patients, family members and staff.

About six months ago, volunteer violinists began playing live classical music on the MICU. The music reminds everyone on the unit of special memories and engenders good feelings. Patients, family and staff report the music reduces stress levels and that they look forward to the performances.

The violinists perform in three MICU locations for 30 minutes once a week. Because of the program’s popularity, the musical repertoire has expanded to include student opera performers, and Mount Sinai is considering adding other vocal performers.

Alicia Simpson, RN, cares for a patient while volunteer musicians Mary Rossabi, left, and Deborah Winfield play live music.

One day one of the musicians, a high school student who plays the viola, started playing a solo by Franz Anton Hoffmeister. Sitting up in one bed was an elderly woman who said she knew that particular piece because her husband played in a symphonic orchestra and her brother played the viola.

The violist stopped mid-bar, moved her music stand in front of the patient and started the piece from the beginning. The patient’s daughter sat next to her mother, holding her hand. The elderly patient closed her eyes, smiling, and held her other hand to her heart. Several staff members also clustered nearby.

Amancio J. Maniago, RN, enjoys the melodies of violist Hannah Kronenberg, a senior at Trinity High School, with a patient.

A nurse quietly commented, “The patient is having mild tachycardia,” to which another responded, “It’s good for her.” After the piece was over, the patient whispered to the young musician, “You have no idea what great joy you have just given me. Thank you.”

Her daughter followed the nurses off the unit and said, “This is the first time I have seen my mother smile since she has come to the MICU.”

Mount Sinai is looking into expanding the program to twice a week and is researching the benefits of the music.

By | 2020-04-15T14:36:50-04:00 September 27th, 2010|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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