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A memorable hour for one Parkview healing artist

Last Modified: July 01, 2018

Community, Generosity Heals

When Kristen Agen, healing artist, received a request to lend her talent to set the ambiance for a group activity, she happily obliged. What she came away with was much more than another 60 minutes of performing under her belt. Here, Kristen shares her moving experience.

Just wanted to share a quick story of how I was truly blessed by coming to work. Sometimes we feel we are the ones bringing creativity to the table, but on this day I was the receiver of newness.

I had been asked by the activity director on the 5th floor (Continuing Care Unit) to come in and provide background music while the patients did a seashell art project. I arrived and set up in a corner.

Well, I definitely wasn’t background music! Instead, the patients came into the room and basically set up around me. They ended up saving their art projects for later and instead we did an hour of music. The best part is that I did not plan any of the songs. The patients started passing around a Methodist hymnal and began requesting songs. They took turns explaining their favorite songs.

I had no clue that Duke Ellington wrote a hymn (“Come Sunday”)! They had me do a lot of sight reading on the piano, which I rarely ever get to do at work. Turns out, Tommy Dorsey wrote a hymn, too (“Precious Lord”)! I was learning so much! Some visitors even looked up lyrics to songs on their phones so I could sing them or so that they could have the lyrics to sing along with me.

Ideas kept floating around the room and people shared stories as if we were sitting around a campfire. It was such a lovely hour together. It felt like we had transported to another place, filled with interest and awe. We ended the time by singing “How great thou art” since someone had remembered going to an Elvis Presley concert and recalled that Elvis always liked to end his shows with that song. I was truly blessed at work that day. Thank you Parkview for these moments with Healing Arts.

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