From May 23 to June 12, the fourth floor of the Atrium Building was filled with piano music as part of Piano in Public Spaces, a program by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO).
"I've seen patients come up to tickle the ivories - medical students, nurses," Celene Mielcarek of the CSO said. "[P]eople have commented on how much more fun it is to listen to a live piano than to watch the television on the screens."
For three weeks, members of the Rush community were able to take some time away from their busy schedules and sit down in front of the piano. The program, a joint effort by the CSO and piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons, placed roughly 12 pianos in locations throughout Chicago during the period.
Pianos in Public Spaces was part of the CSO's Keys to the City Piano Festival, a series of CSO concert performances of compositions emphasizing the piano and related events.
“Music is part of the healthy lifestyle and is healing," said Ian Harwood, one of the team leaders of the Piano in Public Spaces project and a fellow of the League of American Orchestras. "It has a natural place inside the hospital environment.”