Jefferson: Pianist plays for hospital patients

PORT TOWNSEND — When Nan Toby Tyrrell sits down at the piano and begins to play, she calms her nerves by forgetting the audience and focusing on playing for one person.

But for her newest venue, she has to use her imagination to do that.

“Even though no one’s here, I know they’re listening in the other rooms,” Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell started playing the music for Jefferson General Hospital patients Tuesday on a piano she donated to the hospital.

“I believe in music as a healing art,” she said. “If I had my life to do over again, I would be a music therapist.”

When offered the piano, administrators suggested it be placed in the lobby.

But Tyrrell insisted it be put on the third floor where the patients could hear the music.

Tyrrell performs Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in the patient waiting room.

The first song she played Tuesday was “Hello, Young Lovers.”

“It’s very therapeutic,” Inpatient Nursing Manager Laurinda Lanza said. “It relaxes the staff and the patients.”

“The music floats down the hallways,” hospital Chief Operating Officer Paula Dowdle added.

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The rest of this story appears in the Wednesday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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