Patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) now have the option of complimentary headphones streaming hours of tranquil music while they undergo chemotherapy and other infusion treatments. Through a recent donation of music headphones by the online music channel, The River of Calm – Music to Soothe Your Soul, patients have a new option for coping with the emotional demands of cancer.
By Beth Hilton
“Watching a loved one going through a cancer diagnosis, many people feel helpless,” said Ed Bazel, founder of The River of Calm and an award-winning Nashville pianist who is spearheading the donation. “When words fail, music speaks. If we can help even one patient through a difficult ordeal like chemotherapy, then we as musicians have achieved our highest purpose in this world.”
The donation is providing wireless rechargeable music headphones at all seven VICC locations in middle Tennessee, including the Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic at The Vanderbilt Clinic, One Hundred Oaks, Cool Springs, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Pleasant View, and Hendersonville.
Ed Bazel funded the donation through The River of Calm’s recent “Headphones for Holidays” fundraising drive. The headphones are obtained through a partnership with Alive Inside, an organization using music to increase human connection and meaning for dementia patients. Each set of headphones includes a micro SD card with specially curated playlists featuring instrumental music from The River of Calm’s independent artists.
Piano Music Returns to VICC Waiting Room!
In addition to the music headphones, Vanderbilt-Ingram has permitted Ed Bazel and other pianists featured on The River of Calm volunteer their time to play their music on VICC’s piano, a previous donation from years ago that had been sitting unused in the patient waiting room. Bazel immediately saw an opportunity; he funded and arranged for a tuning and repair, preparing the piano for sounds to flow again.
To manage sound volumes, the musicians use a process known as “felt piano,” engaging the piano’s middle practice (felt) pedal to emit soft sounds into the waiting room. Those around can enjoy the music, while it doesn’t interfere with other voices and conversations.
On a recent afternoon as Ed Bazel softly played, a grateful patient slipped him a handwritten note: “We want to thank you for the CD and the sense of peace you gave us while we waited for the oncologist. Your talent carried us calmly all the way home.”
Music can be a component of healing and is often sought by those suffering through emotional stress. Studies have linked music to a number of health benefits, including improving mood and decreasing pain and anxiety.
“The River of Calm has thoroughly helped to enhance the patient experience at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center,” said Julie Bulger, manager of patient- and family-centered care at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. “The music headphones are a great option for anyone who wants to ease their minds while undergoing cancer treatments. The quality of music is absolute perfection and we feel so grateful to be the recipients of this impactful generosity.”
See our Ed Bazel coverage: newagemusic.guide/tag/bazel-ed