Music therapy exponent Dr Mehroof Raj unlocks therapeutic power of music at Arts and Medicine

Kochi, Dec 9: Medical practitioner and music therapy exponent Dr T P Mehroof Raj on Wednesday unleashed the therapeutic power of music by rendering hand-picked songs from popular Malayalam movies  for the patients at the Ernakulam Government General Hospital here. 

Dr Mehroof was at the hospital as part of the Arts and Medicine programme being organized by Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) in association with Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre Limited and Mehaboob Memorial Orchestra every Wednesday at the hospital premises. 

Noted children’s playwright Shirley Somasundaram, winner of Kerala Lalithakala Akademi award for theatre, was the chief guest at the event. Mrs Shirley, mother of noted actor Muthumani, has promised to conduct a children’s play at the hospital as part of Arts and Medicine programme in the near future.

Speaking on the event, Dr Mehroof said “What I just conducted here was a de-stressing session for the patients. Music has immense power to heal the mind, soul and body.” A music therapist’s job is to identify his patient’s taste in music and then give a “music prescription” as to which raga they should listen at which time of the day.

He said, however, this personalized “music prescription” will not work for a general gathering  here and therefore, he chose popular film songs which  every common man with no music background can relate to.  

The physician, whose music gurus include renowned names in Hindustani classical music like Sarathchandra Marathe, said other hospitals should emulate the example set by General Hospital here and should organize programmes like Arts and Medicine for the well-being of the patients.

Dr Mehroof received his MBBS and MD in General Medicine from the Calicut Medical College. He started in journey as a music therapist in 2001 and has been an advisor to Calicut University in music therapy. He has learned Hindustani music under Sarathchandra Marathe, Ramanada Pai, Kamalekhar Seth and Dinesh Devdas. He has performed for different music troupes since 1972 and has presented many stage shows as well.

The concert, which started with Vayalar-Baburaj hits, touched upon selected songs in Pahadi Raga including “Neeraduvan Nilayil Neeraduvan” and “Poonthenaruvi” before ending with an ode to legendary singer Muhammed Rafi.

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