The Music as Medicine Symposium: Enhancing Well-Being and Buffering Exhaustion

Presented by the Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program (AHP) and the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2) on Thursday, March 22, 2018 was a wonderful success.

The symposium featured world-renowned scholars at the forefront of research on music, arts and stress in healthcare.

Töres Theorell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm Sweden, presented a wonderful presentation full of rich research entitled, "Music as Medicine in Society - Loudspeaker, Healer or Poison." 

Eva Bojner Horwitz, Ph.D., Ph.T., DMT, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; Center for Social Sustainability, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society/ Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, presented an extremely thought-provoking presentation entitled, “Humanizing healthcare through cultural activities.” 


A Loud Strong Song
I felt myself
teetering on
the edge of
a precipice-
below, anger inviting
It took an act of will
to sing
a loud strong song
and simply sway
to pull me back to
solid ground.

The backstory to A Loud Strong Song:

“I wrote this about a personal experience.  Everything was going wrong and I could feel myself slipping into anger and ready to lash out at others.  I didn’t want to go there. Having heard of the benefits of song and movement, I decided to give them a try.  I sang Beatle songs as loud as the situation allowed and I swayed discreetly. A friend saw me and gave me a strange look.  I was fine with that. I’d rather appear a fool than act rashly and be a fool.  I sang, I swayed.  I couldn’t help but smile.  To my own surprise, I could feel the music and the movement change my mood.  I was able to handle the situation without alienating anyone.

What a low tech, inexpensive, easily accessible prescription without side effects for frustrated clinicians.  If only, it was socially acceptable.”

- Michelle Berberet, Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program Artist-in-Residence

Please don't hesitate to contact Faculty Director, Julia Langley at or Program Coordinator, Morgan Kulesza at if you have any questions regarding the Music as Medicine Symposium and/or the Georgetown Arts and Humanities Program!

A massive thank you to our major sponsors who helped make this symposium possible:

The Frederick Henry Prince IV Family Hospital Staff Morale Program

The MedStar Institute for Innovation

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Georgetown University Medical Center


Cynthia Weber Cascio/M&C Media

Special thanks to:

Professor Bette Jacobs, leader of Georgetown University's Health Law Initiative

Judy Rollins, Program Coordinator of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's Studio G program for pediatric patients.