Healing Notes aims to bring the comforting sounds of music into the daily lives of cancer patients treated at the Cedars Cancer Center.
CONCEPT: Patients living with cancer experience emotions such as shock, fear, anger, uncertainty, sadness, loneliness, or depression. Cancer affects not only the individual, but also their family, friends, the natural caregivers that accompany their loved one during difficult, often toxic treatments. The health care professionals responsible for cancer patients also experience stress, as they strive to always give their best.
Music is used in many health care contexts to increase relaxation, invigorate, reduce pain and distress, reduce narcotic consumption, and manage the sensory charge of various diseases. Research has shown that music can help reduce the anxiety and stress which accompany cancer patients before surgery, during radiation therapy or chemotherapy as well as during their hospice stay.
VISION: Healing Notes aims to bring the comforting sounds of music into the daily lives of cancer patients treated at the Cedars Cancer Center, and to further humanize the clinical setting.
The project is building a structured program of high-quality musical presentations at the Cedars Cancer Center. The designated space, equipped with a baby grand piano, will serve as the permanent anchor for a “musical safe zone” that will bring warmth to a place that is the daily home of cancer patients and professionals. Whether it be jazz, popular, or classical, the goal is to create an atmosphere that promotes comfort and healing to those present, whether they are in a waiting area or simply passing by. This will also help ease the stress for family and friends that accompany their loved ones through tests, treatments, and doctor visits.
EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT: Healing Notes also has an education component, where some of the concerts will be performed by music students in performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill and other music faculties across Quebec.
Students are trained to perform in concert hall settings, where the audience is seated in a formal, structured manner, at a certain distance from the performer. They rarely get the opportunity to play in a setting such as the one at the Cedars Cancer Centre, where the listeners (who might be passing by, waiting for an appointment etc.) go through the most challenging experiences of their lives. Healing Notes will give selected music students the opportunity to enrich their educational experience by learning to perform in a non-conventional, emotionally charged setting, where proximity to the listener is key.