Joining Hands to Enhance Community Wellness through Music

On 7 September 2018, the YST Conservatory was delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), welcoming further collaboration to enrich and enhance the well-being of the community through music as part of the Arts in Healing Programme.

SKH and YST staff at the MOU signing at SKH’s new campus

SKH and YST staff at the MOU signing at SKH’s new campus

Since 2015, YST students have been involved in initiatives to bring the arts to staff and patients at SKH at their temporary site in Alexandra Hospital. These included monthly lunchtime concerts, fundraising performances, interactive concerts as well as in-ward performances.

Further, through a weeklong creative music workshop, YST students and SKH staff collaborated to create a CD of healing music titled Friends in Harmony that was launched in 2016, given to hospital patients and played in waiting areas as well as during MRI scans, to enhance patient and staff well-being. Most recently, a song titled United as One Team written by SKH staff psychologist Ms Audrey Bay was arranged for strings, harp and clarinet by YST composition student Yang Ting-Ting.

These initiatives were spearheaded through YST’s Professional Integration modules in leadership and community, led by Assoc Prof Ty Constante and Professional Integration Coordinator Bethany Nette.

Speaking at the memorandum signing which took place at SKH’s brand new facilities opened last month, Prof Christopher Cheng, CEO of Sengkang Health shared, “This partnership truly gives an extra edge to standard healing through means such as medication. Our patients appreciate the work done by YST students and have been moved.”

These projects stem from a recognition at YST that musicians need to go beyond the studio and the stage, and be able to engage wider audiences with their craft. YST Dean Prof Bernard Lanskey noted, “Sengkang Health has shared with us an enlightened vision on incorporating the arts into healing. We look forward to further collaboration especially with our incoming group of Music, Collaboration & Production students, and believe it will continue to enrich our approach to engaging the community!”

Listen to the first track of the Friends in Harmony CD, titled Minimalism: