Medical musician brings soothing sounds to patients
For volunteer Michael Bard, a guitar is his instrument of healing. Bard uses the power of his music to address the psychological, social and spiritual healing of individuals.
Bard, a medical musician, who volunteers in the Pain and Palliative Care Department, comes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for patients and families, and the clinical staff in the intensive care, pain and palliative care and oncology units.
Although Bard specializes in Spanish, Latin and classical guitar music, he can easily transition from Bach to the Beatles and from show tunes to the Rolling Stones.
He has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Strathmore, a renowned visual and performance arts center in North Bethesda.
Bard refined his skills at the Medical Musician Workshop: Medicine for Musicians in July 2017 and 2018. The workshops, held at the Berkshire Medical Center in Massachusetts, included lectures by physicians from various medical departments, and hands-on training in the hospital’s critical care unit.
Ann Berger, chief of the Pain and Palliative Care Department, was told by the family of one patient that Bard’s music helped their family to feel peace and healing while in the Hospice Unit.
"If I can make just one patient smile or feel better, then I have done my job for the day," Bard said.