Mass. Eye and Ear announces Music Therapy Initiative with Symphony New Hampshire

April 24, 2017
Media Contact:

Suzanne Day
Media Relations Manager, Mass. Eye and Ear

A new collaboration between the hospital and professional orchestra will provide medically-based music therapy to Mass. Eye and Ear patients.

Boston, Mass. — Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Symphony NH have recently begun a new collaboration between the hospital and professional orchestra toward a goal of bringing medically-based music therapy programs to Mass. Eye and Ear patients. Led by Mark Varvares, M.D., Associate Chair of Otolaryngology at Mass. Eye and Ear, and Marc Thayer, the Executive Director of Symphony New Hampshire, the initiative commences with a day of seminars and musical performances on May 4th at the hospital’s 243 Charles Street location. 

“The development of a music therapy program at Mass. Eye and Ear is consistent with our primary goal of providing the very highest quality, patient centered care available anywhere,” said Dr. Varvares. “Music therapy interventions can have a significant impact on the process of healing and recovery for our patients. We are very excited to see this program beginning at Mass. Eye and Ear.”

Mass. Eye and Ear will welcome special guest Crystal Weaver, a leading music therapist and the director of the music therapy program at the St. Louis University Cancer Center. Crystal will lead discussions on “The Role of Music Therapy as a Clinical Intervention in Head and Neck and Cochlear Implant Patients” and “Creation of a Medically Based Music Therapy Program in the Acute Care Setting.” The afternoon presentation will be followed by a live performance by Symphony NH musicians and Massachusetts Eye and Ear residents and a reception.

Symphony NH Executive Director Marc Thayer and Dr. Varvares are known for their past work in organizing similar collaborations between the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis University.  Thayer says, “we are pleased to collaborate with Massachusetts Eye and Ear and to give our musicians the opportunity to participate in such a meaningful and effective initiative.”

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.”

To request information about the event, which is by invitation only, please contact Mass. Eye and Ear at 617-573-3897.

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. In the 2016–2017 “Best Hospitals Survey,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Mass. Eye and Ear #1 in the nation for ear, nose and throat care and #1 in New England for eye care. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit