Krista de Wit; Beste Sevindik

Published On


Page Range

pp. 153–176


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

8. Meaningful Music in Healthcare

Professional Development and Discovered Identities of Classical Musicians Working in Hospital Wards

Meaningful Music in Healthcare (MiMiC), places professional classically-trained musicians inside hospital wards to play live music for patients and healthcare professionals. The musicians’ work is underpinned by interprofessional collaboration with healthcare professionals, as well as the development of new professional skills in person-centred music-making.

Through the emergence of an interprofessional community of practice between the healthcare professionals and the musicians, the musicians’ professional performance begins to develop. They learn about navigating a new work context, about their interactions with their new audiences, as well as their artistic signatures, which are fostered by the intimate musical encounters that take place by the patients’ bedsides and in the nurses’ breakroom.

The approaches of person-centred music-making in the practice of MiMiC evoke social change in the working culture and learning of healthcare professionals, patients’ experiences of care, as well as musicians’ professional growth. The MiMiC-practice enables the musicians to develop new professional skills beyond excellence in classical music performance, namely situational excellence. It allows the musicians to become recognised as cultural collaborators in achieving compassionate person-centred hospital care.
This paper explores the emerging professional profile of classically-trained musicians working in hospitals, their professional development and discovered professional identities through the contextual work with their new audiences, the horizons of their work as cultural allies for compassionate healthcare, and the educational consequences of this new field of practice for institutes of higher music education.


Krista de Wit

Teacher at Prince Claus Conservatoire at Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Krista de Wit (née Pyykönen) received her doctorate in November 2020 from the University of Music & Performing Arts in Vienna (AT). She works as a member of the research group Music in Context of Research Centre Art & Society and as a teacher at Prince Claus Conservatoire at Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (NL). Krista´s PhD-research focuses on the meaning of participatory person-centered music practices for healthcare professionals working in elderly care settings. Central questions for the research are, what live music practices mean for the well-being and learning of care professionals both in elderly care homes and in hospitals, and how they can contribute to the work of the care professionals, hence to the quality of care.

Beste Sevindik

Researcher in the Lectorate Lifelong Learning in Music connected to the Kenniscentrum Kunst & Samenleving at Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Beste Sevindik is a researcher in the Lectorate Lifelong Learning in Music connected to the Kenniscentrum Kunst & Samenleving at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (NL). She studied violin at Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in Turkey and completed her Master's degree at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen. As a chamber and orchestra musician, she has performed throughout Europe and Turkey. In addition to her work on stage, Beste regularly performs in socially engaged projects, such as working with patients and health care staff on surgical wards and with elderly people with dementia and their caretakers in residential homes as well as in virtual space. She is engaged in research in both these practices.