This Pt knows me from previous admissions. His spouse excuses herself, unsuccessfully hiding tears, in response to some disappointing news. "I just can't right now. You might as well play for him, he loves your music." As she is walking away 3 docs arrive to make rounds. She shakes her head, shrugs and decides to stay, to wait for the doctors, and to listen.
I am acutely aware of her emotional condition and decide to let my training and I tuition go to work. I know from experience that these people enjoy a wide variety of styles and musical material. I play 'Reitba', a piece by Francois Rabbath. It can be somber, or reflective or exotic and exciting. I choose a relatively forward moving tempo and feeling, just a little bit aggressive and unyielding, insistent on moving forward unafraid. I want to validate and support what I imagine to be her sadness and frustration. She is engaged, already becoming involved with the experience.
I continue with a piece that is in the same minor key, but with an upbeat, masculine feeling, again moving steadily forward and later soaring skyward. More involvement and a slight softening in her facial muscles and body position.
Next I play two quick and powerful French Dances edging toward a mostly major key, but still masculine, Insistent movement forward. Finally Bach, with much passion, feeling and rubato and finally we are all present, together, smiling at one another freely. No more tension! Some wonderful conversation ensues, then the docs arrive and I make my exit.