As a resident, occasional patient and frequent host to countless Mayo Clinic visitors over the years, I'm saddened (and even angry) at the decision to end all scheduled music in the Gonda atrium. I also know from conversations around town that I am not alone.
While I understand some may find the music a nuisance, I would argue that the majority of visitors enjoy it. Some even look forward to it. In fact, the most common feedback I receive from clinic guests in my home is related to how uplifting the music is as they pass through between appointments.
The Post-Bulletin article quoted a Mayo Clinic spokesman as saying, "...we get quite regular complaints about the noise level." My question is this: From whom are these complaints originating, and did the clinic consider a poll of visitors? It appears to be a decision to satisfy the most outspoken at the expense of many.
Music is widely agreed to have healing effects, but Psychology Today also calls music a "connecting experience." Isn't that what we want from the clinic — to heal patients and help them feel connected to our community?
This decision may prove a dark chapter in the clinic's history, and I sincerely hope it can be re-examined to arrive at a new solution that better reflects a compromise for both sides of the issue.
Catherine H. Armstrong