Bringing Light into Patients’ Lives Through Music

Catch 4th year students violinist Andrew Ng and pianist Nguyen Le Binh Anh at a lunchtime concert at the Alexandra Hospital Auditorium on 7 November at 12.30pm!

YST provides community engagement opportunities for students to develop their skills in interacting with people from all different backgrounds and stages of life. The long-term partnership between YST Conservatory and Sengkang Health (SKH) gives students the opportunity to perform monthly lunchtime concerts and in-ward performances for the Alexandra Hospital community.

Recently, 4th Year flutist Rachel Ho ran an in-ward music engagement session for elderly patients at Alexandra Hospital, joined by YST alumnus Gabriel Lee (Class of 2015) on violin. This project was associated with the 3rd year Performance & Communications class, where students are encouraged to initiate, curate and deliver their own performances for audiences beyond the concert hall. 

4th Year flautist, Rachel Ho, facilitates a music engagement session with patients in the wards of Alexandra Hospital, joined by YST alumnus Gabriel Lee (Class of 2015) on violin

4th Year flautist, Rachel Ho, facilitates a music engagement session with patients in the wards of Alexandra Hospital, joined by YST alumnus Gabriel Lee (Class of 2015) on violin

"Gabriel and I prepared a violin-guitar duo instrumental performance of various tunes from the 60s - 80s where we go down memory lane, including some Chinese hits as well as Malay and English pop tunes," Rachel explains. "My grandmother came along to sing with us, and the patients said that seeing my grandma happily singing along gave them the courage to do the same. My main aim when performing at the hospital was to bring smiles and positivity to the elderly patients even though they may be going through tough times.”

During the session, each patient was given a small percussion instrument and encouraged to clap and sing along with the guitar and violin. Rachel also facilitated some rhythm games with the percussion instruments. 

Seeing the patients react to the songs by singing along happily and clapping to the beat, I felt very heartened as I could tell they were really having a good time.
— Rachel Ho, 4th year flautist

This was Rachel’s second time delivering an in-ward performance, having facilitated a session earlier in the year. “Seeing the patients react to the songs by singing along happily and clapping to the beat, I felt very heartened as I could tell they were really having a good time,” Rachel says with a smile. “Overall, seeing the smile on the patient’s face makes it all worth it. I saw the patients gradually open up with confidence throughout the session. I believe that music has the power to touch the lives of others. I hope to do more ward performances in the future and continue to share the joy of music with the community.”

Through this work, Rachel is now interested in gaining an even deeper understanding of how music-making can help vulnerable people.
 

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