Student Group is Music to Our Ears

Yajnik said MusiCare helps students relieve stress while helping to build focus.

Yajnik said MusiCare helps students relieve stress while helping to build focus.

When it comes to finding the best career path, most people hope to find their one true calling. Yet, some like second-year medical student Tanya Yajnik hope to pursue two careers, one as a doctor and another as a musician.

This past summer, Yajnik was accepted to the International Institute for Young Musicians at the University of Kansas. She joined students from around the world at the conservatory and spent two weeks performing in recitals, working one-on-one with professors and taking classes in songwriting and improvisation.

“I wrote my first song ever while at camp,” Yajnik said. “As I worked with the professors there, we talked a lot about music and medicine and I love how Yo-Yo Ma’s sister Yeucheng Ma is a pediatrician and an accomplished violinist. I love how Ma uses both her passions to help and inspire other people.”

That love for medicine and music is what drives Yajnik to take part in MusiCare, which started with a group of TTUHSC medical students who loved music and wanted to use it to give back to the community. Yajnik said the group has grown to more than 30 students and now includes students from the School of Nursing, School of Allied Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as well. The group was founded three years ago and already has a strong presence on campus.

“This is an interdisciplinary professional group,” Yajnik said. “Music is a collaborative art, and it has so much to do with people's emotions and life stories. Music brings people together because it connects us to one another, heart to heart. When you hear someone play, you can't help but respond in some emotional and subconscious way. I love how MusiCare brings our deans, professors and students together to enjoy art. MusiCare helps our students to keep music in their lives as a social outlet and stress release, while also helping them to build focus, discipline and persistence.”

Cruz said MusiCare members also share their love of music with the community by hosting events like Play It Forward.

Cruz said MusiCare members also share their love of music with the community by hosting events like Play It Forward.

Andy Cruz, a third-year medical student, is also a member of MusiCare and said the organization is about turning their music into a positive tool to help the community, university and humanity.

“We call it MusiCare because we wanted to emphasize the unification of two passions that each and every MusiCare member shares, music and health care,” Cruz said.

Studies have shown that music therapy helps patients. Cruz said with all the academics TTUHSC students learn on a daily basis, music can also be medicine for the student.

“Growing up, music was a chore that my mother strongly encouraged,” Cruz said. “In high school, as I became more involved and busy, music became an escape. Music was a place I could go and deal with my stress in a productive and healthy way. In college and medical school music became a tool for me to serve my community and to express myself at the same time.”

MusiCare students have organized events like their annual Play It Forward charity benefit concert, TTUHSC’s Got Talent, as well as Christmas caroling concerts at Lubbock nursing homes. They also perform regularly for local university and community events. The group is made up of singers, pianists, tuba players, flautists, violinists and many other musicians all coming together to foster music in students.

Yajnik, who also studies piano and voice at the Texas Tech School of Music, hopes more TTUHSC students will join MusiCare.

“I love how I can problem-solve issues that people have in medicine, while exploring the creative possibilities in music,” Yajnik said. “Students get a lot of confidence from performing and see MusiCare as a social outlet to better know all of their classmates. MusiCare was one of the best parts of my first year at medical school.”

Cruz, like Yajnik, plays the piano and shares his love of music with others. He many times can be seen taking a break and performing with professors and students as well as performing in public.

“When we have a recital or event, we bring students together to enjoy some music but always with the intention of serving our community in some way,” Cruz said. “There is no reason why we can't enjoy some good music and work for good of community at the same time.”

If you are a student who would like to become part of MusiCare, email Asha Davidson.

Yajnik Performs Beethoven Sonata No. 8 Pathetique: Adagio Cantabile

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