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Connecting Communities & Culture

Musicians in Hospitals

Arts Mid North Coast sponsored the Musicians in Hospitals project for funding through the NSW Government's 'My Community Projects' program in the Coffs Harbour electorate. The project was initiated and managed by local musician and community arts facilitator Stephanie Sims and modelled on a similar project by Arts Out West.

This innovative project is part of Arts Mid North Coast's commitment and continuing work in the area of Arts, Health and Wellbeing. The pilot program trains local musicians to deliver musical experiences at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus over a six-month period.

In collaboration with staff at the MNC Local Area Health District and local Registered Music Therapist Bonnie Nilsson, an intensive seven-day training program was created specifically to educate the participating musicians on the role of music and how it can be effectively administered in a hospital environment to achieve greater therapeutic health outcomes.

To ensure long term sustainability of the project, a partnership has also been established with the University of Southern Queensland who will evaluate the project and create new research in the field of music in health.

Music therapy as a profession largely grew out of the need for a college curriculum after World War II when injured musicians were regularly performing in hospitals. Further research has shown that live music has enormous benefits in reducing anxiety, stress and improving patient general wellbeing.

The Musicians in Hospitals project on the Mid North Coast aims to re-establish this long-held belief of the use of the arts in health to aid recovery. The program has the potential to be rolled out into other hospitals across the region providing new opportunities for musicians to work in healthcare settings.

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Proudly funded by the NSW Government through My Community Projects

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