A Soothing Oasis of Sound Enters Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Mar 20, 2023 at 12:57 pm by Staff

Pianist Ed Bazel playing the VICC piano


Nashville – Patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) now have the option of complimentary headphones streaming hours of tranquil music while they undergo chemotherapy and other infusion treatments. Through a recent donation of music headphones by the online music channel, The River of Calm – Music to Soothe Your SoulTM , patients have a new option for coping with the emotional demands of cancer.

“Watching a loved one going through a cancer diagnosis, many people feel helpless,” said Ed Bazel, founder of The River of Calm and an award-winning Nashville pianist who is spearheading the donation. “When words fail, music speaks. If we can help even one patient through a difficult ordeal like chemotherapy, then we as musicians have achieved our highest purpose in this world.”

The donation provides wireless rechargeable music headphones at all seven VICC locations in middle Tennessee, including the Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic at The Vanderbilt Clinic, One Hundred Oaks, Cool Springs, Spring Hill, Lebanon, Pleasant View, and Hendersonville. Each set of headphones includes a micro SD card with specially curated playlists featuring instrumental music from The River of Calm’s independent artists.

Ed Bazel funded the donation through The River of Calm’s recent “Headphones for Holidays” fundraising drive.

The headphones are obtained through a partnership with Alive Inside, an organization using music to increase human connection and meaning for dementia patients.

Piano Music Returns to VICC Waiting Room!

In addition to the music headphones, Vanderbilt-Ingram has permitted Ed Bazel and other pianists featured on The River of Calm volunteer their time to play their music on VICC’s piano, a previous donation from years ago that had been sitting unused in the patient waiting room. Bazel immediately saw an opportunity; he funded and arranged for tuning and repair, preparing the piano for sounds to flow again.

To manage sound volumes, the musicians use a process known as “felt piano,” engaging the piano’s middle practice (felt) pedal to emit soft sounds into the waiting room. Those around can enjoy the music while it doesn’t interfere with other voices and conversations.

On a recent afternoon, as Ed Bazel softly played, a grateful patient slipped him a handwritten note:

We want to thank you for the CD and the sense of peace you gave us while we waited for the oncologist.
Your talent carried us calmly all the way home.

Music can be a component of healing and is often sought by those suffering through emotional stress. Studies have linked music to a number of health benefits, including improving mood and decreasing pain and anxiety.

“The River of Calm has thoroughly helped to enhance the patient experience at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center,” said Julie Bulger, manager of patient- and family-centered care at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. “The music headphones are a great option for anyone who wants to ease their mind while undergoing cancer treatments. The quality of music is absolute perfection, and we feel so grateful to be the recipients of this impactful generosity.”


About The River of Calm: Music to Soothe Your Soul™

An online music channel founded by Ed Bazel in 2019, The River of Calm is committed to healing, soothing and inspiring others around the world with tranquil, serene music. In just a few years, our River has grown from a handful of artists and listeners to today 237 independent artists on piano, guitar, flute, Celtic and other instruments and listeners in 166 countries. We stream 24/7 music, videos, a podcast, helpful articles and livestream concerts. For more information, visit TheRiverofCalm.com, follow us on Facebook. Access us anywhere from our Apple or Android apps and enable The River of Calm on Amazon Alexa devices.  

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The center's world-renowned team of experts provides an integrated, personalized and patient-centered approach to cancer care, including treatment, research, support, education and outreach. From a wide variety of wellness programs to a leading REACH for Survivorship Clinic, patients find support from diagnosis through survivorship. Vanderbilt-Ingram is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of just two centers in Tennessee and 53 in the country to earn this highest distinction and ranks in the top 10 nationwide for cancer research grant support. Visit VICC.org for more information.

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