The Arts and Healthcare: How Music Has the Power to Heal

Posted by Aileen Rimando, Aug 07, 2014 0 comments

Aileen Rimando Aileen Rimando

Music has been one of my greatest passions for as long as I can remember, and my experiences with it have truly shaped my life for the better. As a performer, educator, administrator, and friend, it is even more rewarding to be a first-hand witness to, and take part in, making positive change in others’ lives through music. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’s newest project and collaboration with the healthcare industry through Heart Strings: Music Education for Patients at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has been a wonderful example of the transforming power of the arts.

My name is Aileen Rimando and I am the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. An educational component was recently added to my role, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our outreach offerings to the private healthcare industry to engage and inspire the Philadelphia community.

Years of research have proven that music is correlated with many positive mental, physical, emotional, and social states, which is why it is so necessary to share music with others. Research also shows that music enhances the overall quality of life and has positive effects on patients’ medical care, so the Chamber Orchestra is particularly grateful to have the opportunity to partner with CHOP.

In their excitement about Heart Strings and the opportunity to serve our community, Chamber Orchestra musicians have been expressing their thoughts on the interactive musical experiences they would like to share with CHOP patients. Ayane Kozasa, our principal violist, suggested having kids conduct while she plays a piece on her viola–emphasizing interaction and human connection. Principal Clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati proposed showcasing five different types of clarinets. Violinist Elizabeth Kaderabek recommended taking patients on a journey through time by playing pieces spanning from the Baroque to Contemporary periods of classical music. In addition to the hospitalized children hearing live performances by our world-class musicians, they will also be able to talk, learn, play, and participate in musical activities with Chamber Orchestra members – everything from singing and moving to creating and playing instruments.

This exciting learning experience will take place in the hospital’s Seacrest Studios–a broadcast media center located within CHOP for patients to explore the creative realms of radio, television, and new media. Working inside Seacrest Studios will give musicians the unique opportunity to also interact with CHOP patients from their hospital beds, through live programming on the hospital’s closed-circuit television station. The location allows Heart Strings to reach all children in the hospital, including those not physically able to enter the studio.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia aims to make a difference in the lives of children at CHOP through the healing power of music. Heart Strings will offer positive experiences with music, bring joy during patients’ hospital stays, and offer inspiration for a lifetime.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and performs from September through May in its home, the intimate Perelman Theater. For information, please contact The Chamber Orchestra at 215.545.5451 or visit

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