The Musicians in Hospitals team workshop some tunes ahead of their live performance at Coffs Harbour Health Campus this week to help improve the health outcomes of patients.

Coffs Campus To Benefit From New Musicians In Hospital Project

Mar 02, 2020
This article was published 4 years ago.

A new pilot project being implemented on the Mid North Coast thanks to a grant from the NSW Government’s My Community Project – Healthy Communities, will begin at Coffs Harbour Health Campus this week.

The project is the brainchild of talented local musician and community arts facilitator Stephanie Sims who had heard about a similar project in the State’s Central West and approached Arts Mid North Coast to sponsor the project locally.

“An important element of the project is to provide local musicians with further employment opportunities and, in doing so, benefit some of the most vulnerable patients in our community,” Ms Sims said. 

In collaboration with Registered Music Therapist Bonnie Nilsson, an intensive training program has been created to educate the musicians on how music can be effectively administered in a hospital environment to achieve greater therapeutic health outcomes. 

Coffs Harbour Health Campus has always supported arts-based projects, however this is the first time that a project with a greater emphasis on training has been implemented.

To ensure long term sustainability of the project, a partnership has been established with the University of Southern Queensland who have generously donated their time to evaluate the project and create new research in the field of music in health.

Ms Nilsson said music programs of this type have been steadily on the increase so it was important for her that the musicians had a level of training to understand the full potency of their art form.

“Music can be purposefully used to enhance the auditory environment and also to calm or stimulate patients’ biological responses in consideration of their illness,” she said.

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. The Mid North Coast project aims to re-establish this long-held belief of the use of the arts in health to aid recovery, as well as further employment opportunities for local musicians.   


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