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Archive August 2019 XX, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Violin Solo

Live Music Can Bring Happiness and Healing to Patients

Bridgton (Maine) Hospital, Central Maine Healthcare
TAKING NOTES Sara Kapinos, RN, has played for audiences all over the world. Now she's promoting mental and physical healing through her music at her hospital.

Having music playing in a surgical facility can make patients more comfortable. As a nurse who’s also a Julliard-trained violinist, I’ve taken it a step further by performing live, when I have the time, for individual patients. It’s delivered therapeutic benefits and pleasantly surprising results. If you have musicians in your facility — or if you’re one yourself — you might want to try it, too.

Because this is unorthodox, you’ll need buy-in from your superiors. My patients won my bosses over. The minute patients are exposed to it, they’ll sell it for you. They’ll be your biggest fans. Our administration and managers were overwhelmed by that feedback. And they’re thrilled from a marketing standpoint. We’ve gotten great word of mouth and local television coverage from this.

Live music can also help you individualize the patient care experience. I ask patients what their preferences are. I won’t play my classical stuff if they want something different. Some like gospel, country, popular tunes. Play whatever makes them feel good. So much of healing is psychological and spiritual — having the will to live, feeling at peace. Music plays really strongly into that. Music therapists find that when patients are exposed to music, their anxiety levels go down, less medication is required for people with trauma or PTSD, people with hypertension or high blood pressure normalize, patients’ heart and respiratory rates slow.

Sara Kapinos, RN
Bridgton (Maine) Hospital,
Central Maine Healthcare

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