Healing through music

University Course Cultura e Salute 2022

Culture and Health 2022 - Healing through music

For seven Mondays from October to December, figures from the world of science and professors from the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, led by Enzo Grossi, will discuss seven themes that link music to medicine and personal wellbeing.

This is what "Healing through music" offers, the second stage of the Culture and Health course promoted by the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with the City of Lugano Cultural Division and the IBSA Foundation for Scientific Research, which this year features the collaboration of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana.

The seven thematic lectures, open to the public, will take place from Monday 17 October to Monday 5 December, in the Polivalente Hall of the East Campus USI in Lugano from 6 to 7:00 p.m. They will involve students and PhD students from the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and from the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana – University of Music, as well as members of the public who wish to attend.

Each lecture will include an introductory key-note speech – which this year will be attended by an international guest speaker, who will be given the task of presenting the theme of the lecture based on their experience and expertise. This introduction will be followed by the testimony of another expert in the field on the subject (testimonial) who will speak about their experience "in the field". This will be followed by a discussion in which one or more USI professors will be involved as discussants.

Full course programme

The course aims to provide interpretive keys to the role exerted by music in the spheres of individual and social well-being, seen from a multidisciplinary perspective, as well as to stimulate the use of music in Ticino for therapeutic purposes. The Course will also provide an accurate review of experiences and good practices in the scientific and medical field at an international level, combined with the views of a number of key players in the scientific world at USI.

During each lesson there will be musical interludes performed by students of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana.
The lessons will be held in Italian and English with simultaneous translation in both languages and will be recorded and published online at the end of the course.

17.10.2022 - Lesson 1
The state of the art of music in medicine 
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24.10.2022 - Lesson 2
Music medicine to counter pain, anxiety and stress
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07.11.2022 - Lesson 3
Music education and psycho-cognitive development
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14.11.2022 - Lesson 4
Music therapy in child neuropsychiatric setting and psychiatry
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21.11.2022 - Lesson 5
Music as life companion for wellbeing throughout the lifespan
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28.11.2022 - Lesson 6
Music therapy for dementia and neurological rehabilitation
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05.12.2021 - Lesson 7
Music and social cohesion
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Event location:

Aula polivalente, Sector A, USI East Campus
in Lugano. Mondays h. 18:00 - 19:30, 
17 October - 05 December 2022.

Full course programme

The course aims to provide interpretive keys to the role exerted by music in the spheres of individual and social well-being, seen from a multidisciplinary perspective, as well as to stimulate the use of music in Ticino for therapeutic purposes. The Course will also provide an accurate review of experiences and good practices in the scientific and medical field at an international level, combined with the views of a number of key players in the scientific world at USI.

17.10.2022 - Lesson 1
The state of the art of Music in Medicine

Speaker: Suzanne B. Hanser, professor of Music Therapy, Berklee College of Music Boston (USA)
Discussants: Davide Robbiani, director of the IRB and professor at USI and Giuliano Bellorini, musician and musicologist, lecturer at USI and the “G. Verdi” Conservatory, Milan (I)

24.10.2022 - Lesson 2
Music medicine to counter pain, anxiety and stress

Speaker: Enzo Grossi, surgeon, lecturer and researcher
Testimonial: Alfredo Raglio,music therapist and researcher at the Maugeri IRCCS Clinical and Scientific Institutes, Pavia (I)
Discussant: Claudia Gamondi, USI lecturer and head of the EOC Palliative Care and Support Clinic

07.11.2022 - Lesson 3
Music education and psycho-cognitive development

Speaker: Luisa Lopez, doctor and neurophysiopathologist at the Villa Immacolata Care Home
Testimonial: Dawn Rose, senior researcher, Hochschule Luzern
Discussant: Giacomo Simonetti, USI professor, head of paediatrics at the Italian Swiss Paediatric Institute

14.11.2022 - Lesson 4
Music therapy in child neuropsychiatric setting and psychiatry

Speaker: Christian Gold, professor at NORCE Bergen (NOR)
Testimonial: Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells, researcher at CBPU and ICREA Barcelona (ES)
Discussant: Andrea Raballo, USI professor in psychiatric medicine

21.11.2022 - Lesson 5
Music as life companion for wellbeing throughout the lifespan

Speaker: Dr Liila Taruffi, researcher at Durham University (UK)
Testimonial: Paolo Paolantonio, musician and researcher at Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana
Discussant: Cristiana Sessa, USI professor and head of the EOC Department of Internal Medicine

28.11.2022 - Lesson 6
Music therapy for dementia and neurological rehabilitation

Speaker: Alfredo Raglio, music therapist and researcher at the Maugeri IRCCS Clinical and Scientific Institutes, Pavia (I)
Testimonial: Daniele Molteni, freelance expert in music therapy
Discussant: Luca Gabutti, USI professor and head of the EOC Department of Internal Medicine

05.12.2022 - Lesson 7
Music and social cohesion

Speaker: Steven Mithen, archaeologist, University of Reading (UK)
Testimonial: Deborah Parker, musician and music therapist, Associazione Prima Materia Montespertoli (I)
Discussant: Peter Schulz, USI professor, Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society

Monday 17 October 2022, 18:00–19:30

The state of the art of music in medicine

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Suzanne B. Hanser, professor of Music Therapy, Berklee College of Music Boston (USA)

Discussants:
Davide Robbiani, director of the IRB and professor at USI and Giuliano Bellorini, musician and musicologist, lecturer at USI and the “G. Verdi” Conservatory, Milan (I)

Research in recent decades shows how music has an impact on various medical specialities. The body of research is very broad and includes random clinical trials, mixed methods and mechanistic research in the field of neuroscience to examine psychosocial and physiological responses to specific musical programmes.
The first lecture will present a range of clinical applications for music (e.g. during labour and delivery to ease the pain of contractions, to help relaxation and to counter depression and anxiety). Literature has shown how different musical techniques can be used to advantage in various clinical settings.

Read the interview with Suzanne Hanser

Music programme

Interzones for solo vibraphone and tape - Bruce Hamilton (1966*)
Performed by: Leonardo Tirindelli (vibraphone) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 24 October 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music medicine to counter pain, anxiety and stress

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Enzo Grossi, medical doctor, lecturer and researcher

Testimonial
Alfredo Raglio, music therapist and researcher at the Maugeri IRCCS Clinical and Scientific Institutes, Pavia (I)

Discussants:
Claudia Gamondi, USI lecturer and head of the EOC Palliative Care and Support Clinic

Psychological stress and anxiety are, after pain, the most frequent cause of suffering in hospital patients. Music definitely has an analgesic, antianxiety and stress- relieving effect, as shown by various systematic reviews that look at dozens of random studies carried out on adults and
children. Studies show that music has a real and significant analgesic effect on pain, although of moderate entity. A key review by Chanda and
Levitin details a number of studies showing that music reduces the levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for the harmful effects of stress. In the face of much scientific evidence, it appears that music could be an important therapeutic resource to complement traditional treatment.

Read the interview with Enzo Grossi

Music programme

A for cello, piano and live electronics - Leonardo Nevari (1992*)
Performed by: Elide Sulsenti (cello), Leonardo Nevari (piano) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 7 November 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music education and psycho- cognitive development

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Luisa Lopez, doctor and neurophysiopathologist at the Villa Immacolata Care Home and Fondazione Mariani Milano

Testimonial
Dawn Rose, senior researcher, Hochschule Luzern

Discussants:
Giacomo Simonetti, USI professor, head of paediatrics at the Italian Swiss Paediatric Institute

Like with language, most people acquire basic musical skills by interacting with the environment: through simple exposure to music and innate
predisposition, and children acquire the musical skills they need for any formal music training as they develop. Music and language share functions and associations. A great deal of evidence suggests that music education has a positive effect, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses are beginning to appear in scientific literature showing causal relationships between music and non-musical areas like language, cognition and
performance. We can think of music as one of the cognitive tools essential for healthy ageing

Music programme

One study, one summary for marimba, junk percussion and digital audio - John Psathas (1966*)
Performed by: Gaspare Renna (marimba) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 14 November 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music therapy in child neuropsychiatric setting and psychiatry

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Christian Gold, professor at NORCE Bergen (NOR)

Testimonial
Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells, researcher at CBPU and ICREA Barcelona (ES)

Discussants:
Andrea Raballo, USI professor in psychiatric medicine

Many mental health problems are linked to emotional, relational, social and low motivation issues. It is therefore not surprising that music, a highly rewarding social art related to the emotions, has been used to promote mental health. Systematic reviews of random controlled studies have shown that music therapy has beneficial effects, and also highlights the limitations of current research, especially the lack of diversity in results.
Music therapy differs in terms of activities, settings and goals. We therefore need more detailed research to better understand which kind of music therapy (from listening to different types of active music therapy approaches) conducted by whom and in which setting, is most valuable for certain patients and aims. 

Music programme

NoaNoa for flute and live electronics - Kaija Saariaho (1952*)
Performed by: Letizia Caspani (flute) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 21 November 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music as life companion for wellbeing throughout the lifespan

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Liila Taruffi, researcher at Durham University (UK)

Testimonial
Paolo Paolantonio, musician and researcher at Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana

Discussants:
Cristiana Sessa, USI professor and head of the Gynaecological Cancer Department

Research into music psychology has highlighted the marked effects that listening to music has on sense of well-being, quality of life and emotions.
This lesson offers an overview of the importance of listening to music and its role in health and well-being throughout life. A wide range of evidence suggests that singing lullabies during pregnancy can strengthen the bond between mother and child. In adolescents, music can help build personal and social identity, promoting self-control, self-expression and participation in the community. Adults often listen to music in everyday life to regulate emotions and psycho-physiological functions. In difficult situations, like the Covid-19 pandemic, many people found music a resource for coping with and managing isolation. Music also continues to offer valuable support for better health in old age.

Music programme

Auriga for piano and live electronics –2022 - Danilo Gervasoni (1987*)
Performed by: Bruna Di Virgilio (piano) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 28 November 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music therapy for dementia and neurological rehabilitation

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Alfredo Raglio, music therapist and researcher at the Maugeri IRCCS Clinical and Scientific Institutes, Pavia (I)

Testimonial
Daniele Molteni, freelance expert in music therapy

Discussants:
Luca Gabutti, USI professor and head of the EOC Department of Internal Medicine

Music therapy has produced scientific evidence in the field of dementia, particularly in alleviating psycho-behavioural disorders. Sound and music is a special mediator that can activate - even in the case of severe cognitive impairment - archaic communication that allows us to connect with our own emotions and builds an essential bridge for communication between the inner and outer worlds. In terms of rehabilitation, there is
substantial evidence to link sound and movement with important effects on areas of the brain that control movement and, as a result, on
neuromotor rehabilitation in common neurological disorders like strokes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. 

Music programme

Until it blazes for guitar - Eve Beglerian (1958*)
Performed by: Mario Strinati (guitar) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Monday 5 December 2022, 18:00–19:30

Music and social cohesion

--> Check out the full lesson

Speaker
Steven Mithen, archaeologist, University of Reading (UK)

Testimonial
Deborah Parker, musician and music therapist, Prima Materia Association, Montespertoli (I)

Discussants:
Peter Schulz, USI professor, Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society

Being involved in music plays a vital role in creating social bonds between individuals and groups, which in turn promotes health and
well-being. Recent research has identified neural mechanisms through which singing, dancing and making music together create feelings of
accomplishment that endure even when group musical activity has ended. This lecture will summarise the evolutionary history and role of musicality and socialising in the lives of our earliest ancestors, before reviewing the current understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms that create this link. It will also consider how the socially cohesive effects of music have been intentionally harnessed for a range of purposes, from modern medicine to economic and political advantage through social manipulation.

Music programme

Grabit for tenor saxophone and ghettoblaster - Jacob ter Veldhuis (1951*)
Performed by: Ivan Perdomo (sassofono) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)

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