In an effort to bring live music and a brief reprieve from an often stressful hospital environment, the Ithaca College School of Music is starting a Music as Medicine initiative, where students will perform at Cayuga Medical Center.
Community outreach is not new to the School of Music, as it has had other programs like the Music as Medicine Project, which was a collaboration between the School of Music and the college’s Gerontology Institute, where students worked with senior citizens and used music as a therapy tool. There is also an Intergenerational Choir at Longview Senior Living Community and students have played concerts for patients.
Karl Paulnack, former dean of the School of Music, is a chaplain at Cayuga Medical Center. He said he thought a collaboration between the college and hospital would be a perfect match and facilitated the meeting of the two groups.
“It’s like when you see somebody and you think, ‘Oh, these two people should date each other, they’d be great,’” Paulnack said. “I was just sort of being a matchmaker. The hospital and the School of Music, they should go together.”