Why do you think music has such a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing?
“Music is really important to me in my day to day life because medicine can be a bit stressful. Certainly, at times surgery can be a bit stressful and it’s wonderful to have something to turn to at the end of the day. Throughout my career at the end of the day I have gone home and seated myself at the piano and played."
What part did music play in your student life?
“When I was a student I think the music department was in Abercromby square and we as a music society could use their facilities which were basically a couple of rooms nothing very exciting.
“There was never really a dedicated place for students to perform, either if it was their profession or if it was their hobby, I think for both parts of the undergraduate experience to have somewhere dedicated would be absolutely wonderful. I’m one of those people who feels that when you go to university you actually need to get that wider experience of life which you get from all the other things that university’s offer. Music in my case being the most important. So I think to provide the facilities for that to become a central part of the student experience would be a wonderful thing to have."
Do you still play?
“I have always played the piano and therefore really was no good as part of an orchestra. In my later years I took up the cello and I think playing in an orchestra is just a wonderful experience because of course it’s just the ultimate example of team working and team working must come into every aspect of our lives today if we want to be successful.
"I absolutely love the fact that I can now play, on back row admittedly, but I can play in an orchestra and have an enormous amount of pleasure from that. And I think students that I see today are, many of them, capable musicians and want to be part of an orchestra and that is such an important part of their education, just as important as the subject matter they are studying.”
Hear Averil talk about why she is supporting the fundraising campaign for the teaching and performance space
“Music is really important to me in my day to day life because medicine can be a bit stressful. Certainly, at times surgery can be a bit stressful and it’s wonderful to have something to turn to at the end of the day.”
Back to: Yoko Ono Lennon Centre