When Nancy Storino was at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a week following a stroke, she didn’t expect the best medicine to be the strains of a viola.
But over the course of several days the 72-year-old found herself listening to a violist play songs from her favorite artists. Sometimes she sang along. Other times she fell asleep.
“It was very soothing,” says Ms. Storino, who is now back home in Lansing, Ill. “It helped with the pain, it relaxed me and put me to sleep. I really, really enjoyed it. It’s very comforting for people when they’re sick.”
Ms. Storino is among 88 patients in a three-month pilot study in the inpatient neurology department at Northwestern. Participants were offered 30- to 40-minute live music sessions over FaceTime by a viola player.
The goal of the preliminary study, which ends in late September, was to alleviate the stress and anxiety of a hospital stay, as well as pangs of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic when there are more restrictions on visitors.