Medical personnel, researchers, and first responders are sacrificing their health and wellbeing every day for the safety of our community. And while their bravery rarely goes unnoticed, what the public may not see are the personal lives behind the heroes, the talents and passions that fuel their lives beyond the bounds of their professions. Talents and passions like music. Learn more about these community connections in our Summer 2020 Newsletter.
Nurse educator and HYS alumna Tara Vaughn is certainly staying busy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Working directly with nurses to develop new processes to protect the community and treat patients affected by COVID-19, Vaughn must juggle a variety of responsibilities while maintaining her own mental and physical health. One outlet that she returns to again and again is music.
“As someone who works in a high-stress environment as a nurse and diagnosed with high blood pressure, I can definitely say that music and medicine are intricately connected,” said Vaughn. “The practice of listening to music has centered my mind by concentrating on the sound of music and nothing else. This has been very effective in reducing my stress and has also helped to lower my blood pressure.”
When Vaughn joined the band at Highlands Intermediate, her band director singled her out for French Horn, which she studied and practiced diligently in order to develop her sound. Upon entering high school, Mr. Nakasone didn’t waste a second to immediately encourage her to join Hawaii Youth Symphony. Vaughn stayed on for the full season and played with HYS until she graduated in 2000.
Today, Vaughn is grateful for the role of music in her life as it helps to guide her and keep her grounded. She recognizes that the question of music’s restorative, healing quality is relevant now more than ever, and she continues to turn to music even as her career has driven her to medicine. “Music has always been meditative for me,” she said. “I use guided meditation on a regular basis to remove myself from the stressful environment of patient care. I feel it’s so important to my daily work—that I make it a priority every day since it takes less than 10 minutes. It’s this centering of my mind that’s truly made music such a vital part of my life and wellbeing.”
“Music has always been meditative for me. I use it to remove myself from the stressful environment of patient care. I feel it’s so important to my daily work—that I make it a priority every day. It’s this centering of my mind that’s truly made music such a vital part of my life and wellbeing.”
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