A new soundtrack for Children’s

>I know what the new piano in the Children’s Dallas lobby sounds like to an employee. In the midst of a day full of staring at a computer screen, attending meetings and trying to be creative and efficient, it sounds like perspective.

Somehow, the chords and keys distract me from busyness and call me to appreciate beauty, fun or relaxation – depending on the type of music being played. The music makes me remember that there are things to be enjoyed in the moment, not just things to be rushed past in pursuit of future things.
If the piano inspires such transcendent thoughts in me (who most often ponders football and food), I can only imagine how much good it does for patients and families actually staying at the hospital. It’s not uncommon at all to see a few of them taking breaks and resting in the chairs by the piano around noon on Mondays. That’s when Felder Fitzgerald, a.k.a. “the train engineer”, tickles the ivories. In addition to being a model train expert, Fitzgerald has played the piano professionally for the past 50 years. In fact, he was the first volunteer to play the new piano.

Children’s staff members often bring lunches from the new food court and sit right with the parents and patients. Other visitors and staff watch and listen from the banister overlooking the lobby.

That is what Harlan and Amy Korenvaes hoped for when they donated their Yamaha baby grand piano to Children’s this summer.

“I thought to myself, ‘How much fun would it be to have someone playing the piano as you walked into the hospital? It would help take the edge off,’” Mrs. Korenvaes said. “I feel like anyway you can reduce the stress level, not only for patients and families but for staff as well, I think that is a real plus.”

Volunteer Services is looking for more performers to play the piano during weekdays. Performances can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as two hours. If you’re interested, email Volunteer Services coordinator Vidya Ayyr at vidya.ayyr@childrens.com for more information.


Sign up for the latest information from Children's



One Response to A new soundtrack for Children’s

  1. Jessica October 8, 2009 at 9:01 am #

    >When I tell people I work at a children's hospital, they always say, "oh, that must be sad." And of course, sad things do sometimes happen. But, overwhelmingly, Children's is a magical place where miracles happen every day. And even in the midst of a seemingly ordinary day, you stumble upon a train conductor making beautiful music for the masses!

Leave a Reply