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If you happen to occur to stroll by way of the entrance doorways of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, close to Chicago, and assume you hear the Home windows startup music, or the themes for Common Studios or Warner Bros. being performed on the piano, do not second guess it. Odds are it’s Guido Calcagno, registered nurse, warming as much as play melodies for sufferers, employees and guests.

Calcagno is without doubt one of the volunteer musicians who play reside music for guests in Good Shepherd’s foyer Monday by way of Saturday.

When volunteer pianist Renee Mullaney is working the 88 keys within the foyer, she tends to maintain her eye on the entryway. If she spots a toddler coming into the hospital, she could play a Disney music or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” If a veteran walks in, she is going to play a patriotic music. Her reasoning: Hospitals may be scary and intimidating, and if the individuals acknowledge a well-known ditty within the air, possibly that one little factor will put them comfy.

“Since we’re within the entrance space there, I really feel just like the pianists are form of ambassadors for setting a constructive tone for Advocate Good Shepherd and typically we may be the face of the hospital,” mentioned Mullaney, a Cary resident who has been volunteering her musical expertise for 4 years. “Let’s face it, once you’re on the hospital, the joyful factor is infants. In any other case you are there to go to any individual that is sick otherwise you’re there for a take a look at. … Each time I am going and play, no less than three or 4 individuals will stroll by and you’ll see them snapping their fingers to the music. Folks cease and thank us for our efforts—for being there and bringing just a little little bit of consolation to what can in any other case be a nerve-racking scenario.”

Calcagno, 23, understands. He performs the newborn grand Kawai on his days off. Educated on piano since he was 4, the Deerfield resident began working at Good Shepherd in August 2021 and by October, he was regaling passersby with in style music and compositions that he penned. And it began when he overheard volunteer pianist Sue Schuerr play throughout a visit to the cafeteria. He launched himself, performed some music for Schuerr and he or she directed him to the hospital’s volunteer companies coordinator, Lynette Eeg, a clarinetist who auditions the music volunteers. The remaining is historical past.

“I may get by way of possibly eight totally different songs after I’m taking part in,” Calcagno mentioned. “I play from a big selection of music. I’ve my very own compositions … about 10 totally different items that I can play from reminiscence or improv. I wish to assume that music I’ve created actually does invoke feelings or emotions. In my piano binder, I’ve music from TV exhibits—whether or not it is Korean dramas, animé, intros from ‘The Golden Ladies,’ songs from motion pictures like ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Inception,’ and extra trendy classical music, pop songs. It additionally is determined by how I am feeling that day. Music is simply as therapeutic as it’s for my listeners. It helps me calm down, ponder and mirror on what may have occurred the day earlier than at work, helps me course of.”

Calcagno, who balances a wide range of sufferers throughout his 12-hour workdays, says he all the time has time for music, and in the future he’d love to assist on a movie rating.

Eeg mentioned there are presently 10 volunteer musicians, together with a flutist, who play 90-minute shifts. Excessive schoolers, so long as they’re no less than 16, can volunteer as effectively. events can fill out an utility. Magda Scanlan, Good Shepherd’s volunteer companies director, mentioned the workplace makes certain volunteers’ roles are aligned with their wants and passions.

Schuerr introduced e-book membership pal Mullaney into the fold, and he or she finally introduced her mother, a piano instructor, to play duets together with her within the foyer. Schuerr, a retired English and drama instructor, laughs when remembering how she got here to play at Good Shepherd in 2016.

“My husband had knee surgical procedure and I bought just a little bored so I began strolling round, trying out the hospital and going towards the lunch space, I went ‘Whoa! A piano! That is terrific!'” she mentioned. She sat down and started to play. Schuerr requested employees if she may volunteer, and Eeg mentioned a place was created.

“We created the place as a result of now we had this stunning piano that individuals needed to play,” Eeg mentioned. She and Schuerr agreed that none of it will have occurred had the donated piano been sufficiently small to suit by way of a convention room’s door as deliberate. When it could not match, the piano discovered a everlasting dwelling on the hospital’s entrance entrance.

“It was a beautiful mistake,” Schuerr mentioned. “It has been a blessing.”

She performs late mornings/early afternoons on Thursdays. She mentioned taking part in the piano at Good Shepherd has been good for her mind as a result of she tries to be taught two new items every week. Requests from sufferers have led her to discover ways to play Coldplay and the Ukrainian anthem. She performs hymns, songs of the season. She even made mates alongside the way in which.

“I play Hanukkah and Christmas music. … I attempt to hold inclusion in thoughts,” Schuerr mentioned. “You go searching and see who’s there and attempt to play for these individuals. I take heed to Pandora. I take heed to the radio and if I like a music, obtain it and play that. I do not need to be tired of my very own music. I positively attempt to jazz it up and make it enjoyable for individuals.”

Scanlan mentioned the reside music “feels such as you’re coming into a very therapeutic area.”

“It is a stupendous campus, however if you end up listening to music, it simply appeals to your different senses,” she mentioned.

2023 Chicago Tribune.
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Therapeutic begins within the foyer at this hospital, the place volunteer musicians play their ardour (2023, April 13)
retrieved 16 April 2023

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