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The Heartbeat Sessions

December 1, 2017 | By Annie Rogers

The Heartbeat Sessions are a growing collection of musical recordings, highlighting the collaboration between young patients and music professionals in the Asheville community.

Each session involves incorporating a digital recording of a pediatric patient’s heartbeat into a song selected or created by the patient and their family. The song and the heartbeat are recorded together, using live musicians in a professional recording studio.

Check out some Heartbeat Sessions songs below…

When a patient expresses interest in participating in a Heartbeat Session, the first thing Arts For Life music teacher Melissa Hyman does is record their heartbeat using a digital recording stethoscope (with permission from both the patient and the family, of course.) This only takes a few minutes and can be done during a hospital or clinic visit.

Next, Melissa guides patients and families through the process of choosing a song to accompany the heartbeat recording. Some participants select an existing song, while others choose to write their own original songs. Some have lots of ideas about what instruments to involve, or how to arrange the song to create a certain style or mood, while others leave those nuances to the musicians in the next step.

You can support the Heartbeat Sessions and Arts For Life by clicking here

Once the heartbeat is recorded and the song chosen… well, that’s when the real fun begins! Participants get to witness their song come to life at Echo Mountain Recording Studios, one of the premier analog and digital recording studios in the country. Under the careful guidance of Melissa and a hand-picked team of professional musicians and sound engineers, the group makes a high-quality professional recording of the song, created to the very specifications of the young artist whose heartbeat inspired it.

Watch and listen to some of our past Heartbeat Sessions Songs:


“Wannabe” for Courtney

“Bad to the Bone” for Colby

“I Love You, Mom” (original song) for Brooklyn

Heartbeat Sessions // “I Love You, Mom” by Brooklyn, age 11

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz for Daniel

Heartbeat Session: I’m Yours, for Daniel from Kristi Knupp and Jason Mencer

Bon Jovi’s “Wanted: Dead or Alive”(audio only) for Alex

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen for Jesse

The Heartbeat Sessions: Jesse “Hallelujah” from Erin Derham

Big thanks to our Heartbeat Sessions partners for making this particular magic possible:




Screenshot 2017-09-07 14.09

You can help make more Heartbeat Sessions come alive by making a gift here today.