Molly Cage, MD, Ph.D., has been playing the piano since the second grade.
Her musical gifts are ones she freely shares with patients through live classical piano performances she’s hosted at four assisted living communities in Central Virginia where she works.
“Playing music for others is special for me,” said Dr. Cage, whose repertoire include pieces from Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and other classical masters. “Residents seems to really like it and are so appreciative– it’s a nice change of pace for them.”
Her first series of concerts were held in February, just before COVID-19 hit. After, she had to get creative to perform safely. Using her husband’s speaker from his bluegrass band and a portable keyboard, Dr. Cage brought her show on the road.
“I played in hallways, so residents were able to sit in the doorways of their apartments or rooms and listen, socially-distanced,” Dr. Cage said. “They are so isolated right now, stuck inside. The concerts almost seem to be a little vacation without the travel.”
Dr. Cage – who has been with LGS Legacy Care since 2017 – noticed the calming impact her music had on patients.
“There was one patient who began smiling and swinging her legs when I played a Debussy piece. She didn’t remember she used to be a dancer, but hearing the song seemed to bring back that lost memory, at least to her physical body.”
There is a wide body of research and compelling evidence that points to how music positively influences health.
“We are trained as physicians to be very academic in our approach to the body, but clearly there is much more to people than their physical selves,” said Dr. Cage. “My responsibility as a doctor is to heal, and that cannot always be done with a prescription.”
Three of her concerts were hosted at Manor House in Richmond, Va. “Our residents are amazed by Dr. Cage’s skills as a doctor,” said Valerie Robinson, director of Marketing & Admissions. “Then to hear her perform – she’s incredible! Dr. Cage has her practice, is a mom but still volunteers her time. She is a wonderful example of compassion.”
Free Concerts Online: A list of free online classical concerts and past performances from around the world can be found here.