The power of music is helping with the healing at a Rochester hospital. And it’s not just for patients.

In Ken Luk’s world, emotion often comes without words. The classical guitarist can often be found in a place where healing takes on many forms.

“This kind of thing I really love,” said Luk. “Because this is kind of how I feel like I'm giving back.”

Luk regularly performs at Strong Memorial Hospital as part of the Eastman Performing Arts in Medicine Program. Luk was born in Hong Kong. Classical guitar brought him to Rochester to study at the Eastman School of Music.

“Classical guitar specifically, I was really hooked by music from Brazil,” he said. “I just fell in love with it to the point where I started looking at other classical repertoire, so one thing led to the other.”

This led him to Strong Memorial Hospital, where musicians regularly play various instruments play in the halls. It provides healing moments for patients, families and staff.

“It dramatically changes the environment of the hospital in a very, very positive way,” said Dr. Michael Rotondo, senior vice president at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “It adds yet another human element that otherwise we wouldn't have, and that connects people in some way emotionally to the institution.”

An accomplished musician and music teacher, Luk says many people just walk by while he plays. Hospitals are busy places. Some stop for a brief moment, and listen. 

“People are very nice,” he said. “They like it, they whisper a little thank you, or they just smile.”

It’s that which makes the impromptu hospital concerts worth every minute. Music’s healing power speaks for itself.

“Yeah, if I can make them smile for three seconds, I think my job is done here,” said Luk.