The gentle notes of a harp, then humming–a little reluctant at first– followed by singing mixed with laughter filled a conference room recently at Huntington Hospital as workers try to ease the burden of the last two stress-filled years of confronting the consequences of Covid-19.
Seated around a conference table, staffers went through breathing exercises and sang relaxing songs such as the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” and India.Arie’s “I am Light” substituting “We” for “I” to emphasize the team aspect of their work.
Appearing virtually, therapist Gina Marchese of Long Island Music Therapy led the group through its initial shyness about singing into conversation about what people loved which included family, kittens, grandchildren, sitting on a beach, colleagues and sushi.
William Folk, director of patient logistics at Huntington Hospital, said that helped with some of the hospital’s sickest patients. “Patients are so isolated; some have been here over a month,” but through therapy, they were able to make more contact. The program has also expanded to the behavior health unit.
Marchese said therapy worked to strengthen “Group cohesion, belonging and comfort, supporting relationships and making social connections.” The process, she said, considers all needs of patients or any client.
Huntington Hospital said Long Island Music Therapy is donating their time and providing free music therapy sessions at the hospital.