Expert Interviews w/ Guestbloggers Continue: Meet Jazz Musician, Steve Carter

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Steve’s very well-read post “A Jazz Musician’s Wisdom on Listening: Lessons for Us in Healthcare” has helped broaden the audience and bridge the art and science of healthcare as a guestblogger for Confident Voices in Healthcare Blog.  Learn a little more about Steve and his work in music and publishing:

Steve Carter Headshot1.  Tell CV readers a little bit about yourself.

I’ve always lived outside the box: a jazz musician, a writer, a poet. I started college as a pre-med major, and quickly became disillusioned with that. I worked for a while as a computer programmer and had great hopes for how information management and expert systems would improve healthcare. Like all tools, these can be misused, and all too often are.

2.  What do you think is the most fundamental problem or concern we face in healthcare?

We keep thinking about it as “healthcare.” It is not; it is illness care. What we need is much more focus on prevention.  The medical journals are full of articles about treatment, and precious little about prevention.

3.  What do you think we need to do to fix it?  Or what’s one thing we can do that will help fix it?

We need to get the profit motive out of “healthcare” — at least to the extent possible. The first step is to eliminate the control that insurance companies and drug companies exert on the medical “industry” and on the public.

4.  Anything else you’d like to add?

Medical education needs to be humanized. I don’t have the key to how that can be done, but this is a dialog that everyone needs to get involved in.

 

Steve CarterSteve Carter

Jazz Guitarist

During his twenty-five years of teaching guitar at Berklee College of Music, Steve developed his pick-and-finger style playing, borrowing from jazz, rock, blues, and classical music. Listen to Steve and you’ll hear the melody singing out over chords and bass lines, with a little percussion thrown in for good measure. Whether he’s playing a jazz tune by Duke Ellington, a popular standard by George Gershwin, a Latin tune by Antonio Carlos Jobim, or one of his original compositions, Steve approaches each song with musical sensitivity and imagination.

Steve has been performing throughout New England for nearly half a century. He has played with artists ranging from Chicago blues singer Little Walter to song stylists Al Martino and Anna-Maria Alberghetti. Steve has played guitar and bass with many groups over the years, including the Blues Children, Xbalba, Eastwood Swing Orchestra, and the Travelin’ Light Jazz Duo.

In recent years Steve has focused on blending his many musical influences into a unique solo guitar style and composed, arranged, and performed all the songs on the two CDs that accompany No Fret Cooking and developing MAAT publishing company  with his wife, Marilynn Carter.

Learn more about Steve at www.frogstoryrecords.com Steve has recorded 10 CDs on the Frogstory Record label.

“My goal is to make the guitar sing. I always sing the lyrics in my head while I play. That helps me to convey the mood and story of the song through my instrument.”

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7 Responses to Expert Interviews w/ Guestbloggers Continue: Meet Jazz Musician, Steve Carter

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  2. I’d like to add (#4 question about “what else can be done?), it seems that patients/consumers don’t take responsibility for health. Like Steve says above, that healthcare needs to be humanized… I think people need to step up and listen and then follow the advice of the medical team. I see it all the time. In my family. The doc says, “Stop eating red meat.” But do they follow that advice? Nope. Another advice they hear, “Move around.” Consumers need to step up and take responsibility. I know some do. But many do not.

    • Beth_Boynton_RN_MS says:

      I agree, Carol. I think it is a pervasive and complicated problem and sometimes healthcare professionals are guilty of promoting dependence and that adds another layer to the issue. That and different people are at different places in their ability and interest in becoming empowered and responsible. I’d also encourage consumers to challenge HC professionals and at least consider our recommendations. I wouldn’t require them to follow, but at some point perhaps stop asking? As a nurse, I think it is my responsibility to help empower patients to the extent they are able and so much be responsive to all levels. I think there are social implications about your observation and that there should be a required curriculum in HS that helps students to navigate our HC system. One of my favorite resources for patients is “The Take Charge Patient” by Martine Ehrenclou. She does an awesome job of helping consumers take steps to be more accountable. Here’ s my review: http://www.confidentvoices.com/2012/06/24/the-take-charge-patient-why-this-book-is-an-outstanding-resource/

  3. Beth Boynton, RN, MS says:

    Steve, thanks for sharing your insights with us. I think you are getting at the very root or heart (depending on your metaphor preference) of problems that we face in healthcare. From financing to safety. I also thought it was interesting to note in your bio that you think of lyrics while playing music….in my mind it is part of a nonverbal communication that is going on among us all the time. As a nurse I have given gross tasting meds to a patient with dementia and will tell them, “I’m sorry it tastes so bad” even though they can’t process ‘WHAT’ I’m saying I suspect I am conveying something in other ways and somehow that is honoring.

    • Steve says:

      That reminds me of something the violinist Yehudi Menuhin wrote: It is the music in the words that lend them meaning….When people speak, it is as important to listen to the music they are making (and sometimes it is pretty poor), as it is to the words they have chosen. Sometimes it is important to forget words altogether and let music take over, as we do when we listen to a Beethoven Quartet.

  4. Beth Boynton, RN, MS says:

    Steve, thanks for sharing your insights with us. I think you are getting at the very root or heart (depending on your metaphor preference) of problems that we face in healthcare. From financing to safety. I also thought it was interesting to note in your bio that you think of lyrics while playing music….in my mind it is part of a nonverbal communication that is going on among us all the time. As a nurse I have given gross tasting meds to a patient with dementia and will tell them, “I’m sorry it tastes so bad” even though they can’t process ‘WHAT’ I’m saying I suspect I am conveying something in other ways and somehow that is honoring.

What are your thoughts?