A harp musician provides live bedside music to soothe patients and support a healing atmosphere at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, Illinois. The practice of musicians providing therapeutic music in hospitals, hospices and other clinical settings is gaining broader acceptance. In fact, it is becoming so prevalent that musicians can now earn certification as practitioners of music for healing.
The harpist, Linda Fisher, is a medical doctor and an assistant professor in internal medicine/pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She took up playing the harp 12 years ago to ease the stress of patient care. “I thought [playing to patients] was something I could do because I’m used to working with patients and I thought this would be another aspect of healing. It’s like Loyola’s motto, ‘We also treat the human spirit.’ This program does make a difference. Putting people in a better spirit or better state of mind is an important part of healing.”