Finding Stability

Music Therapy: Medical Music Project

Piano Keys
By Elliott Billings
Caroline McGahren
Meet Caroline McGahren

She’s a freshman at UVA, a pianist, and a Girl Scout. As a musician and daughter of a cancer survivor, she has researched and observed the incredible link between music and healing. Caroline’s mother is a survivor of stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer, and was treated at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center. During her treatment, she noticed the piano in our lobby, and wished she heard it played more often, commenting that “listening to Caroline playing piano at home brought her joy and uplifted her through difficult days.” This inspired Caroline to establish the Medical Music Project website to create awareness about the beneficial and therapeutic effects of music on cancer patients.

Through her website, Caroline hopes to educate and encourage local musicians to volunteer their time at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, and help foster a positive atmosphere of joy and relaxation by playing live music. Our grand piano is located on the second floor balcony of the cancer center, and it can be heard on both the first and second floors, with music drifting into two major waiting areas for patients and families. In addition to pianist, we frequently feature violinists, guitarists, and other instrumentalists in the lobby as well. 

We hope that you will take the time to visit Caroline’s website. Whether it’s simply exploring and learning more about her research or setting up a performance time in our center, you will find everything you need within the site. 


At UVA Cancer Center, patient care goes beyond surgeries and treatment.

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Your Center, Program Manager