MIHNUET is a public service program that brings live music from the Harvard community into area hospitals and nursing homes. The mission of MIHNUET is to build positive relationships between Harvard students and the elderly or ill via the very special gift of music.
Patients in nursing homes and hospitals often find themselves battling with illness, infection, or disease. They have enough to worry about without having to also battle feelings of loneliness, isolation, or displacement. Studies have shown that live music meets some of the needs of patients by providing not only a source of diversion and entertainment, but also a sense of texture, time, and place, a situation that can be therapeutically very beneficial. Live music gives the performers and listeners a chance to interact, and the patients can not only hear the music but can become actively involved and stimulated by the performance. As David Bihari, Director of Intensive Care Services at Guy Hospital, said, "We so often forget the soul of the patient. Music helps us to speak to that inner being and to bring some extra comfort."
Wards and rooms are also filled with the worried family members and friends of patients who welcome a source of diversion to share with their loved ones. Doctors and hospital staff need an interval of enjoyment as well in their highly stressful routines. MIHNUET seeks to respond to these needs of the health care community. It does this by sending groups of Harvard student musicians to provide live music in nursing homes, hospital wards, and at the bedsides of terminally ill or comatose patients. Additionally, it serves as a link between musical groups on campus and establishments throughout Boston by arranging for guest concerts. While we do not expect to cure the physical ailments of patients, we do seek to facilitate the healing process.
MIHNUET volunteers have the freedom to choose the type of music they wish to play, and this is coordinated with the desires and requests of the health care facilities that we serve. Volunteers also can also choose to play solos or in ensembles that they themselves form or that MIHNUET creates upon their request. Performances are scheduled on an individual basis giving our health care sites and our performers the maximum possible flexibility. For more information, please feel free to contact us. Thanks for visiting!