St John of God Murdoch Hospital finds music medicinal


UWA music students perform at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.
UWA music students perform at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

TOES were tapping and heads were swaying as UWA music students treated patients, visitors and staff at St John of God Murdoch Hospital to a musical performance last week.

The ensemble gathered in the patient lounges of the hospital to play a variety of traditional pieces.

Violinist Kate Milligan said performing at the hospital provided her and her fellow musicians with a great opportunity to play music to patients who might be feeling unwell, lonely or bored.

“It’s a wonderful thing to play for people who might really need some enjoyment or relaxation,” Ms Milligan said.

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“Music and health care is such a fascinating area as music has the potential to be not only therapeutic, but medicinal, in some people’s recovery.”

The concerts form part of the students’ assessment in one of their units, Music in the Community.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital has held a number of jazz concerts for patients and hosts visiting primary schools who sing carols at Christmas time.

Hospital art curator Connie Petrillo said holding the concerts in the lounges enabled the music to float down the corridors into patients’ rooms.

“Often patients will come to watch the concerts but it is equally valuable for the patients who are too unwell to listen from their beds,” Ms Petrillo said.

“Music, as with other art forms, can have incredible benefits on health and we are looking forward to growing this program at the hospital.”