From the heart: A retired music professor and cardiologist are bringing joy to Edward Hospital

Don’t be surprised if the next time you’re at Edward Hospital you hear a jazz tune coming from the heart hospital management.

NaperVoice founding director Philip Spencer spends Tuesdays and Thursdays tickling the ivories of a grand piano tucked away in the atrium. Sometimes, David Kim, a cardiologist at Naperville hospital, stops by to sing a few tunes.

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«It’s wonderful,» said Norm Olsen, a Woodridge man who visits regularly to hear Spencer play and Kim sing. «I think this is great therapy.»

As music fills the lobby on a recent day, passers-by smiled. Patients checking in at registration turned to look at the duo.

«What a joy to have this in the hospital,» said Marian Strassner, a Crest Hill resident who was recently at Edward Hospital. «It brightens my day.»

Spencer, a retired college music professor, has been volunteering his time and musical talent at Edward Hospital since March 2022. Kim, who also plays the piano and has sung in church or school choirs since childhood, she stopped by one day to tell Spencer how much she enjoyed his piano playing and requested a song in a specific key.

«I thought, how unusual is it for someone to ask for a certain key,» Spencer said. «And then he started singing and I thought… this guy isn’t just a cardiologist. He sings like a pro.»


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        


Philip Spencer and David Kim bring their love of music to the Edward Hospital lobby.  Spencer plays every Tuesday and Thursday, and Kim comes by most Thursday mornings, his time permitting.

Philip Spencer and David Kim bring their love of music to the Edward Hospital lobby. Spencer plays every Tuesday and Thursday, and Kim comes by most Thursday mornings, his time permitting.
-Brian Hill | Personal photographer

The duo, who usually perform together on Thursday mornings if Kim’s schedule permits, never practice, have no song list, and have no need for sheet music. They have a few favorites including Frank Sinatra’s «The Way You Look Tonight» and Billy Joel’s «Just the Way You Are». They take songs from Elton John, Stevie Wonder and other artists.

«We’re just a couple of guys having fun in the middle of the day,» Kim said of their sessions, dubbed «Music from the Heart» by the hospital’s volunteer department.

The two, who seem like old friends, respect the healing power of music and how it can brighten someone’s day or put them at ease. Studies have shown that music can help reduce stress, decrease pain, increase concentration and improve mood.



David Kim, a cardiologist, and Philip Spencer, a retired college music professor, have some favorite songs they love to perform, including "The way you look tonight," in the heart hospital atrium at Edward Hospital in Naperville.

David Kim, a cardiologist, and Philip Spencer, a retired college music professor, have some favorite songs they enjoy performing, including «The Way You Look Tonight,» in the Heart Hospital lobby of Edward Hospital in Naperville.
-Brian Hill | Personal photographer

“To see the effect music has on people right then…you know you’re touching people,” Spencer said. When she started volunteering, Spencer watched a video that talked about what people might be thinking or feeling when they come to the hospital.

«I never take for granted how music is going to touch people,» she said, «but I always feel like it’s making a difference.»


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Image Source : www.dailyherald.com

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