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Music in hospital – online, but still live and personalised

Music project brings a little distraction, joy and “normality” into the day-to-day hospital routine of cancer patients
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(Vienna, 23 February 2021) A collaboration between mdw (University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) and the Department of Radiation Oncology at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital brings a little distraction, joy and “normality” into the day-to-day hospital routine of cancer patients. The project is also studying the interprofessional learning that takes place between musicians and music therapists. It is embedded within an international research project that also includes centres in Groningen, Den Haag and London. Project started on 22 February 2021.

A female clarinettist, a female bassoonist and an accordionist are sitting in front of microphones and cameras in a concert hall belonging to mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. The audience is in hospital. The patients of the Department of Radiation Oncology of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital are able to see and hear the musical performance via a tablet brought to their bedside by a project worker.

The trio, made up of musicians and music therapists, plays improvised music – tailored to the wishes and needs of the patients, thereby bringing a little distraction, joy and “normality” into their hospital day.
This initiative is part of a collaboration between mdw (University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) and the Department of Radiation Oncology of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital.

Multi-centre research project
This research project is embedded within an international multi-centre consortium “ProMiMiC – Professional Excellence in Meaningful Music and Healthcare”, which, as well as Vienna, includes centres in Groningen, Den Haag and London. The focus of the research in Groningen and Den Haag is the interprofessional learning that takes place between musicians and nursing staff and the boosting of empathic skills among healthcare staff. Vienna is studying the interprofessional learning between musicians and music therapists and London is focusing on situational learning among musicians.

The original intention was that this project, the concept of which has already been comprehensively evaluated in the Netherlands, would also take the form of a live event in Vienna, i.e. the ensemble would play live on the ward. However, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the concept was adapted and is now being rolled out as an online offering. Especially in the current situation when only limited visiting is permitted on the wards, such a personal musical experience represents a special moment for the patients, as well as for the ward staff.