Intended Audience – Open to all members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers. Also open to the public.
At Open Mic, members are invited to perform, with or without instruments. Members might choose to sing a song, play an instrumental, tell a story, or simply listen and enjoy. It is a safe, relaxed, friendly place where beginners, established musicians, and everyone in between, gather to experience the comfort and joy of music and community.
Benefits and Impact
Significant research underscores the physical, mental and emotional benefits of music including reduced stress, relief from pain and anxiety, and cognitive and physical improvement in memory and coordination. Other articles spotlight the positive effects of people sharing music together. In this 2021 article titled How Music Brings People Together, music is shown to provide comfort, connection and community while strengthening empathy and building trust. At Wellspring, members report experiencing immense joy during the various music programs offered whether they are engaging as listeners or players. In Open Mic, the cherished ritual of coming together to share words, songs and poetry creates meaningful connections and powerful bonds that are both uplifting and fortifying.
What to Expect at a Session
A guest performer opens each set after which members take the stage and perform a song or share a story. After each set, a guest host, who is also a musician, encourages discussion and a Q & A about the music, the instruments, the songs and their history or anything that participants are curious about.
Open Mic via online is essentially a solo performance, with other members listening or singing along in their homes with their sound muted. In between songs people can unmute to clap and show their joy, and take part in the discussion.
What the research says
Music has been shown to play an important role in the lives of people living with cancer. Recent studies find that art- and music-based therapies can have a broad range of beneficial outcomes for cancer survivors, including pain relief, reduced anxiety, decreased fatigue, and improved quality of life (Bosman et al., 2021; Bradt et al., 2016; Köhler et al., 2020; Wood et al., 2011). One study from 2017 found that even simply listening to music may reduce the incidence of pain, anxiety, and drowsiness (Bilgiç & Acaroğlu, 2017).