Patients at Owensboro Health now have a chance to test their skills on a banjolele — a miniature banjo — during their stay in an effort to help lower their stress and anxiety. The program, part of the Arts in Healing effort at OH, is possible through a partnership with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Lauren Calhoun, OH billings supervisor and member of the Arts in Healing Committee, said they have been planning to bring the arts into the hospital’s walls for a while. After talking with Bluegrass Music Museum Education Director Randy Lanham, the collaboration provided the right chance.
Patients are able to ask their nurse or bedside assistant if they can use a banjolele, which comes with an instruction booklet and a video made by Lanham.
If they follow the video lessons they are able to learn the ins and outs and eventually play through a tune, Calhoun said.
The program is still new to the hospital and has been primarily in the med-surg unit, but there are hopes to expand it.
Calhoun said she has already seen some patients open up and enjoy their time while they were playing the instrument.
“It connects people with a sense of curiosity and just making music for the fun of it,” Calhoun said.
Calhoun noted the program is geared toward patients who had a lot of down time between testing sessions or whose emotions might be high during a difficult time.
“It can be for if you’re just waiting for results, you’re bored, maybe a little anxious or concerned,” Calhoun said. “It’s not necessarily working towards concrete therapeutic goals like music therapy would, it’s more exhibiting that we now have some benefits for people that are trying to heal.”