Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can have difficulties breathing, so it may seem strange they are finding relief by playing a musical instrument with their breath.
Bluesman Colin Dussault is teaching harmonica to COPD patients like Glenn Blair.
The students are having fun, but also getting breathing benefits similar to those standard medical devices.
"A harmonica provides resistance similar to [how an] inspatory muscle trainer will," says Steve Bakos, of Southwest General Hospital.
"It's funny, we're tricking them into breathing for an hour," says Dussault.
"The damage that it causes makes it difficult to breathe, including exhaling and emptying your lungs, which is a benefit of blowing through a harmonica that facilitates the patients exhaling," says Bakos.
Colin donates his time, and got Hohner harmonicas to donate the instruments. So the program is free.
"The concept seems to make sense," says Blair. "The more you practice breathing, the better off you'll be. How can that be wrong? It can't hurt. I 'm sure of that!"
And that's music to everyone's ears.