Since the fall of 1997 Betty-Ashton and her harp have been a unique presence at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
While a student at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Betty-Ashton volunteered through the hospital’s Cultural Enrichment Program, playing the harp in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Upon graduating, the department helped create a position that would enable Betty-Ashton to be have a consistent presence in the hospital. In 2001 she became the Musician in Residence. Since then, she has been playing throughout the hospital on a regular basis in units including the Ingram Cancer Center, Paige Campbell Heart Institute, Pediatric Critical Care Unit, Surgery waiting areas, and of course the NICU. After years of consistency, the hospital staff has gotten used to seeing Betty-Ashton, affectionately known as “The Harp Lady”, wheeling her harp through the many wards of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital.
To learn more about the Vanderbilt University Cultural Enrichment Program:
Links to news articles
Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center http://www.vicc.org/momentum/autumn06/final_note.html
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
Two great ways you can contribute to the comfort and healing of those you know who are grieving:
Inspired by her years of playing the harp in the hospital, Betty-Ashton wrote and recorded a CD of songs that provide comfort and relaxation that will encourage healing. The CD is called “Home”. She has also recorded a CD of hymns for the same purpose.
Or, if you are in the Nashville area, instead of sending flowers to the hospital, or to your friend’s home, why don’t you send Betty-Ashton to play the harp for them? Betty-Ashton has a very genuine bedside manor and has learned how to custom choose the songs that will bring joy to each particular patient. You’d be amazed at the response receiving a live harpist can evoke. Go to the booking section for more information.