If music heals the soul, then patients at some Chicago hospitals are in luck. Award-winning nonprofit Sharing Notes organizes volunteer musicians to bring hospital patients weekly interactive performances of classical, folk, jazz and other styles of music.
Allegra Montanari, Sharing Notes’ founder and executive director, wanted to share her love of music with others after learning that live music rarely reaches those in the hospital. “I was moved at how music brought people together and created a welcome break for both the patients and their visitors,” she says.
Since its founding in 2012, the group has performed for more than 28,000 patients and their loved ones at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s cardiovascular and cancer centers.
“These performances give patients a break from the monotony of hospital life, especially for those who wait months for a heart transplant,” says Armand Unabia, clinical coordinator for Northwestern’s coronary unit. “Pleasant distractions that lift patients’ spirits are always welcome.” Thanks to these efforts, the halls are alive with the sound of music.
Sharing Notes. Photo courtesy of La Rabida Children’s Hospital
Valerie Nikolas is a health and wellness writer based in Chicago. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.