Music Has Healing Properties for Patients at NYC Hospital

Patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Washington Heights are getting bedside performances by Columbia University medical school students.

Shaheen Malick and Stefanie Gerberger, who helped create the Music at Bedside Program, visit the hospital once a week to perform for bedridden patients.

"I've had patients say the music has eased some of their pain, it’s very nice to hear you’re having some impact," Malick says.

The pair, both students at The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, decided to use their musical talents to treat patients stuck in the hospital for long stretches of time.

Gerberger, who has played violin for large audiences since she was 5 years old, says her most memorable experience has been performing for an audience of one: a boy in a coma.

"And when I started playing he actually responded, and so his parents came to me, [asking] ‘What did you do? What was the piece? Can you come back?," he said. "So it’s been really rewarding and one of the most rewarding experiences to have."

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