Emerging Findings From Medical and Music Student Experiences of Training with Hospital Musicians

Julia Humphreys, Rosalind Hawley, Shanath Ramachandran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Learning alongside professional musicians as they work on hospital wards offers medical and music students opportunities to explore new approaches to communication where music making is central to learning and reflection. It is not uncommon for these students to experience performance anxiety pressure during study, as emphasis on technical competence becomes heightened. Musicking during visits to wards encourages a reconnection with self, as focus shifts away from perceived pressures of institutionalized training towards a musically responsive and personalized approach to interaction and communication, embedded in acts of sound creation and shared listening. Through experiencing music making in hospital wards, music students make discoveries about musicianship, as they learn to find new ways of sound making on their instruments, and use body, voice, and percussion to improvise and interact with patients and fellow musicians. Medical students, familiar to some extent with the clinical environment, discover new approaches to bedside communication, developing skills in nonverbal interaction with child patients, and building an awareness of the value of a holistic approach to patient care. In being exposed to patients, family, and staff through music, these students are not only learning techniques of music making specific to the hospital environment; music ‘in the moment’ becomes key to increasing confidence in performance and communication, supporting increased wellbeing and resilience. Using feedback we have gained during Lime Music for Health training programmes delivered in partnership with The University of Manchester Medical School and the Royal Northern College of Music we will examine the benefits of these experiences and discuss why such opportunities are an important component in supporting student wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMusicology Research Journal
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019


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