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Strains of Beethoven, Bach and other classical or jazzy melodies can often be heard drifting in and around the Wellington Regional Hospital Atrium.  We are extremely fortunate to have over 36 talented volunteer pianists who enchant and entertain our patients, families and staff each week.

Mrs Pat Collier has been playing for 70 years and joined the hospital as a volunteer pianist shortly after the hospital’s unique white baby grand was installed in 2009.  As a former music teacher, music is a hugely important part of Pat’s life and she has also played the organ at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church in Johnsonville for the last 50 years.

Hospi admiring Pat's playing!

Hospi admiring Pat’s playing!


There are many recognised health and therapeutic benefits associated with listening to music and families often express their appreciation for our pianists during what is often a difficult and stressful time in their lives.  “Many people come up to talk to you and thank you for the music and tell you that it has helped them,” says Pat.  “You know that most of them are not at the hospital for a happy reason and it is satisfying to be part of their journey.  Some people share with you that they have just received bad news and that the music has helped them.”

Pat also notes that fortunately only one person in the last nine years has said that he didn’t like the type of music she was playing!

If you are interested in volunteering as a pianist or other musician, please contact Trish Lee, Volunteers Manager on 04 806 2324 or email:

Wednesday 5th December is National Volunteer Day, and we’d like to acknowledge Pat and the other 450+ volunteers who give their time and skills to help our hospitals and patients. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!