Musician and Music Practitioner
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, PA
Marcia grew up in the Philadelphia area. She has a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a MM (Masters in Music) in Harpsichord from the New England Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts. In addition Marcia has a Certificate of Performance in Forte Piano, Temple, University, Philadelphia, PA. and is a Certified Musician Practitioner (CMP) from the Music for Healing and Transition Program, based in Hillsdale, N.Y.
After graduating from University of California at Berkeley, Marcia’s love of music led her to the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA to study Indian music . She then moved back to Philadelphia where she had a Fellowship to study Indian Music and Hindi working in different jobs while attending classes.
Marriage took Marcia to Arkansas where she studied organ and harpsichord. She moved to Boston in order to attend graduate school. She then returned to Philadelphia to teach Music and Drama at a private school (K-8) for 23 years before retiring.
While visiting a relative in an Alzheimer’s unit Marcia played the piano and realized that the residents were responding positively to her music. This led her to take a year-long training program in order to become a Certified Musician Practitioner (CMP).
Marcia began working as an Intern Music Practitioner at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital playing the hammer dulcimer for patients on the hospital’s Palliative Care Service. Now she has four additional venues in the hospital, including a cancer infusion suite, a busy lobby, and the Emergency Medicine Department. Her goal is “to create a soothing and calming atmosphere in order to reduce stress, and to change the patients’ and caregivers’ hospital experience, by adding the element of beauty to the environment.
Marcia describes her job as “I assess the patient first by determining her/his breathing rate and emotional state. Then I try to synchronize the music to the breathing rate and gradually slow it down in order to create a more calming atmosphere.”
“The most rewarding aspect of my job is establishing a connection with people through music and providing a healing and soothing experience. The most difficult part of this job is knowing how my music impacts some of the patients, especially those in a coma.”
Marcia says the qualities necessary for a CMP, besides being a skilled musician, are being accepting of patients, not being judgmental and understanding how each person(s) can benefit from her music.
When Marcia is not working she tries to practice the harpsichord and hammer dulcimer 3 hours every day. She is the harpsichordist with the La Bernardinia Baroque Ensemble. She loves spending time with her family and friends, cooking and swimming.
Marcia’s favorite book is:
The Thousand Autumn’s of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell.