DPSS staffer shares musical talent to soothe anxiety

Guest Services Specialist Emily Wheeler played piano in the main lobby of Mott Children’s Hospital on the tense afternoon of Jan 6

After working at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for less than a month, Guest Services Specialist Emily Wheeler hit the ground running reducing the risk and anxiety of patients, staff and visitors using a skill not listed in her job description. GSS Wheeler took it upon herself to use her talents as a pianist to bring peace and calm to the Mott lobby during a time when many were stressed about the violent events at the U.S. Capitol and across the country, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Music is my outlet,” said GSS Wheeler. “Whenever I am feeling a lot of emotions, I like to play. It helps calm me and helps me clear my head. Given what was happening that day, I had the thought that maybe it would bring some peace and comfort to other people as well.”

Several employees stopped by to tell her how much they appreciate the music, and how calming it was during that extremely tense day.

“It’s so good to hear live music again,” one staff member shared. “It brings so much happiness.”

“I played about an hours’ worth of classical piano music,” said GSS Wheeler. “Most of it was composed by Muzio Clementi and Domenico Scarlatti, as well as some by Johann Pachelbel.”

GSS Wheeler has been playing the piano for 17 years. She has done a lot of playing in and outside of college for various concerts, volunteer opportunities, and accompaniments for other musicians.

“I am so proud of Emily and her initiative to alleviate anxiety and bring calm during a difficult time for our community and country,” said Deputy Director Brian Uridge.

Guest Services specialists at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital & Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital work closely with security officers to maintain a safe and supportive environment. GSS staff verify employee and volunteer identification, create visitor identification badges, enforce visitation policies, provide wayfinding and more.