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Coronavirus: Serenading Northwick Park consultant takes time out to record musical thank you to the NHS

PUBLISHED: 14:33 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:33 29 April 2020

Consultant Maxton Pitcher serenades Northwick Park Hospital patient Jean Pearson. Picture: LNWUH

Consultant Maxton Pitcher serenades Northwick Park Hospital patient Jean Pearson. Picture: LNWUH

Archant

Patients at Northwick Park Hospital have been drawn out of their beds by the musical tones of a violin playing consultant.

Maxton Pitcher has taken time off treating Covid patients at the Watford Road hospital to record his contribution to a musical thank you to the NHS.

The Rainbow Project includes four fellow musicians from the European String Teachers Association who call themselves the Self Isolation String Quartet.

Patient Jean Pearson heard Maxton playing on the wards and was drawn out of her bed by his rendition of Danny Boy.

The 56 year-old gastroenterologist who works at St Mark’s Hospital, is a trained classical violinist. He said: “Music can instantly change people’s state of mind and has great healing qualities that touch something inside all of us. It’s an essential counterbalance to the stresses of frontline medicine,”

The violin-playing consultant first took an interest in the instrument as a four year-old after watching an orchestra playing on TV for the first time.

“I just pointed at the TV and said I wanted one of those,” he said.

He subsequently played in a succession of youth orchestras and later as a student at Cambridge and Oxford universities performed alongside some of the country’s most talented young musicians, including Nigel Kennedy.

Maxton credits music with making him a better doctor saying the emotion needed to play an instrument helps him better empathise with patients.

“The great thing about music is you can simply lose yourself in it and I still love the buzz of playing to a live audience.

“To have been able to combine this with medicine over 37 years has been an enormous pleasure and privilege.”


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