“Music goes deep—it’s a healing thing, which is needed in a hospital,” shares Kim Pike, the piano man of IU Health Arnett Hospital.
The piano is a new addition to the Banyan area of IU Health Arnett Hospital, something Pike has desired for the past few years. The piano was a donation from his church of 13 years, The Gathering Point (formerly Dayton United Methodist).
“It was a nice gesture on the church’s part,” shares Pike. “It came from a practice room.”
When it was gifted to him, he knew the perfect spot. “It was a bit of a selfish choice—I wanted to have access to a piano here so I could play music. So they gifted it to me, and I gifted it to IU Health.”
Pike has worked for IU Health for the eight years. After a varied career in marketing and sales, Pike relocated to Lafayette from Pennsylvania 18 years ago to be near his daughter and grandsons.
“I did not want to miss out on watching my grandsons grow, and now both have graduated and become adults,” shares Pike.
Pike started his career at IU Health Arnett as a lab courier. It was the perfect job for a retiree looking to keep busy. Pike would often carry around a portable keyboard and dress in appropriate attire for each holiday. At each stop he would entertain team members with a Christmas tune or an Irish blessing.
“Music can change a mood. It can uplift and bring a smile. It can lighten the load,” shares Pike who has been dubbed the singing courier.
Four years ago, he went back to full time work in supply chain. Supplies come in daily from Indianapolis on a skid and need to be broken down and distributed throughout the hospital. Once the skids are broken down, Pike is responsible for the first floor, stocking supplies for the Emergency department and Invasive Outpatient unit.
Pike’s day at the hospital starts at 6 am. Often, he hears music from another team member playing the piano at the end of their overnight shift as he starts his day shift. Pike will play for 15 minutes during his lunch break each day. Sometimes he will play at the end of his shift.
“It is a gift, and I like to share that gift,” shares Pike on why he plays. “It is a relaxing fun activity.”
Pike learned piano at age 12 from his mother, He plays the piano by ear; he cannot read music. His church will send him YouTube links of songs for the next week, and he learns the song from there. At home, along with his mother’s original acoustic piano, he has an electronic Yamaha and several smaller keyboards.
“I play for other people,” shares Pike. His reward is when children and adults come stand at the rails around the Banyan to enjoy the entertainment and relax for a while.
Enjoy some music by Kim Pike: