Musicians in Medicine, DOCappella Serve as Creative Outlet for Feinberg Students
|Musicians in Medicine â an ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists â and DOCappella â a group of choral, pop, and opera singers â join together for many performances, including monthly concerts at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.|
Amid courses like problem-based learning and medical decision-making, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine students reserve time to unwind and share their talents with others. Through participation in groups like Musicians in Medicine and DOCappella, dozens of first- and second-year medical students have uncovered an outlet for exercising their artistic side.
“I am a science-focused person, yet I’ve always been passionate about making music,” says guitar and trumpet player Matt Sakumoto, a second-year medical student and president of Musicians in Medicine. “Playing in bands has always served as the perfect channel for my creativity.”
While two separate clubs, Musicians in Medicine â an ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists â and DOCappella â a group of choral, pop, and opera singers â join together for many performances, including monthly open mic nights at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and concerts at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).
Open mic nights are casual; students are welcome to drop by to play or listen to music. During “Rhythms for Rehab,” held on the first Wednesday of each month, RIC patients enjoy a musical repertoire ranging from classical woodwind trios and acoustic pop covers to rock bands and funk tunes.
Both music groups were dormant for years before Sakumoto and Tim Cooper, a second-year medical student and president of DOCappella, brought them back last year. As leaders, they are responsible for coordinating weekly rehearsals and finding performance opportunities.
“Students who take part in Musicians and Medicine and DOCappella want to take a break from their busy medical school schedules,” says Cooper, who discovered his passion for music while singing in an all-male a cappella troupe as an undergraduate. “What I love most about the groups is the opportunities they present to join with others to create a harmony. Singing allows me to connect with my fellow students and simply enjoy the music.”
Adds Sakumoto: “By featuring an eclectic set that incorporates unusual instruments like bassoon and banjo, and varied music from jazz to classical, we hope to inspire the patients and classmates who attend our shows.”