Pianist explores healing power of music

Posted on: May 8, 2014

In Wednesday’s (5/7) Wall Street Journal, pianist Byron Janis writes, “Can music heal? … I recently witnessed the healing effects of music first hand. As part of their ‘National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military,’ I was invited by Americans for the Arts to visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and participate in ‘Stages of Healing.’ This program, created by Dr. Micah Sickel, helps patients learn how to play a musical instrument and facilitates live performances whose aim, according to the hospital, is to ‘enhance the healing process…’ After my performance … many told me how much music had helped their recovery…. I once asked [neurologist Barry Bittman] whether there was a difference in the effects of listening to versus playing music. ‘Statistically significant benefits,’ he said.… This is confirmed in another program at Walter Reed called Musicorps, where, working with professional musicians, computer-based music workstations and actual instruments, patients learn, play, compose and record music. It is designed to help patients suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.”

Posted May 8, 2014