Music at Mayo

Trip Start Oct 02, 2007
Trip End Apr 2008

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Note for music lovers:  You would love one day I had this week at Mayo Clinic.  While Jack sees the doctors, I frequently stop and sit in the lounge chairs in the huge two story atrium of the Gonda (main) building.  It  has a grand piano which anybody can stop by and play--and many do. 

One lady, who is one of several who perform on a regular basis, was there yesterday.  She was playing the first time I walked through the atrium and seemed to be able to play anything requested as well as many pieces she chooses of all types of music.  Today when she was playing, a man came walking up and played duets with her (later learned he has a mgmt. position at Mayo).  They are fabulous and appeared to have such a good time playing.  I later learned they have a CD, which I will purchase. . One day she was playing a hymn and a very old man stopped, beautifully sang one verse and chorus of the hymn and went on to his appointment.  Several times a day there are pianists who appear to be piano students playing their recital pieces along with, at this season, Christmas songs.  Occasionally, a patient stops by and plays or sings along to the music being played.
Yesterday, there were two young women in the lobby, one in a wheel chair and the other pushing her chair.  They started to move in what appeared to be a dance.  The "driver" whirled around, back and forth and the woman in the chair used her hands and body to move with the music, doing words in signing.  For the 2nd time since we have listened to the Mayo music, I just sat and wept because of the beauty and what it must mean to those whose healing this enhances.  

Later in the day, a group of Mayo employees (approx. 50-60) stood by the piano and sang carols.  While we were eating in the cafeteria (better food than most hospital cafeterias) music came from the open courtyard beside the cafeteria.  About 3/4 of the Rochester Chorale sang classical Christmas pieces.  I was told that about 25 or so of the members singing that day were Mayo employees.

The other time I was very touched in the Atrium was when a man was playing the piano. There seemed to be a larger than normal number of people who were obviously very ill patients--some in wheel chairs, others walkers and some just looking very ill.  The piece he played that really got to me was "It is Well With My Soul."  (If you have not heard the story of that hymn, let me know and I will tell you.) It seemed particularly appropriate for that group and they loved it.  A few days later the same man was playing and I talked to him, mentioning how his playing had touched me earlier in the week.  He said he, too, had noticed more than normal numbers of sick people near the piano on the earlier day.  Guess God chose him and his music that day through which to minister and heal.
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