Student Spotlight: Josh Salzman (Certificate in Music in Medicine ’19)

I am a behavioral cognitive neuroscience
major. Two years ago I decided to pursue the Music in Medicine certificate. I
found that through my Sing for Life volunteering that I started when I was a
freshman. Sings for Life is a Parkinson’s singing group. We sing songs like “You Are My Sunshine,” “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” It’s intended to not only help the
people’s ability to speak, and they love to sing on top of that, but it’s to
increase their well-being. So having the volunteers, like myself and other people,
it helps them to feel like a sense of community. It really humanizes their
condition, so they have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but it becomes a
space where they’re just singers. A woman after one of the sessions said, “Hey, Josh
I’d love to do a song with you,” so we decided to do “Baby it’s Cold Outside” by
Ella Fitzgerald and every single session we would rehearse for 15 minutes. We
decided to surprise everyone. So out of nowhere I said, “Mr. B, I have an
announcement,” I got up and I grabbed the woman’s hand and we started singing this
duet, a cappella, out of nowhere, and in that moment she was not a woman
Parkinson’s disease, she was a singer and we were doing this awesome performance together in front of all my friends and our little Sing for Life family. That
amazing group was my introduction to arts in medicine. I wanted to explore
more about this topic to learn more about how music impacts the brain, how
music can impact one’s health positively. I did a practicum experience,
something called AIM kids, which is doing visual art with the children on the
fourth floor of Shands. One day in AIM kids, I dressed up as Mario, because it
was Halloween and I had a little child who was awaiting a heart transplant
give me a mustache and it went from, like, you know, eye to eye.
I just had this massive Mario moustache that he just face painted on me. So, this
child was eight years old and he was able to, you know, become an
artist and paint Mario on me, basically, and
that was really special. Hopefully as a future physician, I’ll be able to apply
what I’ve learned, at least in this introductory level, in my future practice as a doctor. If I’m working in a hospital, I’d love to
integrate beautification projects to bring art into the ceilings or
art on the walls. Wherever I go, I’d love to model the UF Center for Arts in Medicine in my future practice as a doctor.

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