Healing through music: the second edition of the Cultura e Salute university course at USI

Seven appointments to address as many aspects of a single, major theme: the role played by music on individual and social well-being and as part of the patients’ therapeutic process.

This was the objective of Healing through music, the second edition of the Cultura e Salute (“Culture and Health”) course, which was held from October to December at the University of Italian Switzerland (USI, Università della Svizzera Italiana). Promoted by the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with the Culture Division of the City of Lugano and IBSA Foundation for scientific research, the course intends to explore the role of arts and culture as tools to promote health and support therapeutic pathways. This second edition also saw the participation of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana (the Italian Switzerland Music School). Coordinated by Professor Enzo Grossi, the course was part of the academic programme offered by USI and the Music School to their students, for whom academic training credits were provided for.

“The Cultura e Salute course was created with the aim of offering a space for discussion and interaction between the scientific world and tomorrow’s young doctors, providing them with some useful tools to experience their profession with a broader view”, underlined Silvia Misiti, Director of IBSA Foundation for scientific research. “With the second edition of this university course, we added a new element to the path we had started, precisely because we believe it is important that tomorrow’s doctors have the ability to let themselves be inspired by the interconnection between the different aspects that make up people’s lives, and also know how to include emotions and creativity in healthcare situations and contexts”.

The reports were provided by over twenty international experts – well-known personalities from the world of science and culture, as well as professors from USI’s Faculty of Biomedical Sciences. Similarly to the first edition, also this year the lessons were open to the public, and were attended by over 600 participants, including students, graduates and interested people.

Created with a multidisciplinary approach, Healing through music was a precious opportunity to investigate the relevance of the curative aspects of listening to music, analyse the multiple effects of sound experience on both body and mind, and confirm music as an important therapeutic resource, complementary to traditional care.

Thanks to the participation of several international testimonials, each lesson – in Italian and English, with simultaneous translation into both languages ​​– was enriched by the sharing of field experiences and the presentation of best practices. Indeed, many are the clinical areas where music is used for therapeutic purposes, as a means of relieving physical pain, counteracting depression, anxiety and isolation, facilitating relaxation, and helping build individual and group social bonds.

The course has been structured to facilitate involvement and active participation, both through interaction and discussions with the speakers and guests and through musical interludes, entrusted to the students of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana.

Learn more on the IBSA Foundation website.

The second edition of the Cultura e Salute (“Culture and Health”) university course at USI