Hospital consultant Maxton Pitcher took time off treating Covid patients at Northwick Park Hospital in London to record his contribution to a musical thank you to the NHS.
Maxton, who is also a classically trained violinist, serenaded patient Jean Pearson who was drawn out of her bed by his playing of a rendition of Danny Boy
The Rainbow Project includes four fellow musicians from the European String Teachers Association who call themselves the Self Isolation String Quartet.
The violin-playing consultant first took an interest in the instrument as a four year-old after watching an orchestra playing on TV for the first time.
“I just pointed at the TV and said I wanted one of those,” says the 56 year-old gastroenterologist who works at St Mark’s Hospital, part of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.
Maxton subsequently played in a succession of youth orchestras and later as a student at Cambridge and Oxford universities performing alongside some of the country’s most talented young musicians.
They included violinist Nigel Kennedy who gave an encore on themes and variations of Match of the Day after Brighton triumphed over Cambridge in a match he and Maxton attended earlier in the day.
Maxton credits music with making him a better doctor saying the emotion needed to play an instrument helps him better empathise with patients.
“Music can instantly change people’s state of mind and has great healing qualities that touch something inside all of us. It’s an essential counterbalance to the stresses of frontline medicine.”
“The great thing about music is you can simply lose yourself in it and I still love the buzz of playing to a live audience. To have been able to combine this with medicine over 37 years has been an enormous pleasure and privilege.”