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Sam's Fans Blog

Art Therapy: How It Works

By Melissa Ayotte | September 20, 2018

“My loveness makes my wings grow big!”
As he spoke, he created pink circles radiating outward from his body map. This exercise is done each art therapy session to help this 6 year old learn to identify the physical sensations of his emotions. Gradually, his circles grew so large they overtook the page. Next, he added large,…

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Music Therapy with Actual Heartbeats!

By L. Samuel Gracida | September 16, 2018

In a Facebook live conversation with music therapist Brian Schreck, we talked about a really cool music therapy intervention. It is music therapy with actual heartbeats! There is no technical term for it, but we can refer to it as “heartbeat music therapy.” The basic concept is to record the heartbeat of patients, which then can be edited,…

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Music Therapy in the Wake of 9/11

By L. Samuel Gracida | September 11, 2018

This day we remember September 11, 2001. Not being from the US and being too little when it happened, I cannot speak for what it must have been like to live through it. In this blog post, I would like to offer something else instead. This is a blog post on music therapy in the wake of 9/11 and how the music therapy community reacted to this horrible tragedy….

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Mat Kearney’s “On and On” Is Great for Music Therapy

By L. Samuel Gracida | September 7, 2018

Sam recorded the song “On and On” by Mat Kearney as a mother’s day gift for Nikki. This was an idea that Sam and her music therapist Brian Schreck had when she was at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Apart from the fact that Nikki loves Mat Kearney, there are many reasons why the song “On and On” is great for music therapy….

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State of Music Therapy in Ohio Children’s Hospitals

By L. Samuel Gracida | September 3, 2018

Ohio is a leader in the nation in the area of pediatrics. Ohio boasts 8 children hospitals, out of which 2 are in the top 10 children’s hospitals, ranked by U.S. News. These are great news for all Ohioans. Great care for your child is available within reasonable distance. But, how do these hospitals do in terms of music therapy?…

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4 Differences Between Music Therapists and Musician Volunteers

By L. Samuel Gracida | August 29, 2018

Have you ever wondered what makes a music therapist different from a musician who volunteers to play music at a hospital, home for the elderly, or a similar place? For some looking from the outside, the difference might not be obvious, but there are actually significant differences! In this blog post, we tell you 4 differences between music therapists and musician volunteers….

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Are drum circles music therapy?

By L. Samuel Gracida | August 27, 2018

Recently drum circles have become increasingly popular. They might even be more widely-known than music therapy (don’t quote me on that). Which begs the question, are drum circles music therapy? My opinion as someone who is not yet a music therapist but who knows enough about it is that drum circles are NOT music therapy. Here are the reasons why….

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These Harps Are Great for the Tiniest Ones!

By L. Samuel Gracida | August 23, 2018

A recent article in the Music and Medicine Journal explored how improvisational harp music using the Reverie Harp can have a positive effect on babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Roxanne McLeod and Kaye Spence used the Reverie harp for improvisational harp music and concluded that improvisational harp music by a qualified music therapist led to positive effects for both the infants and the caregivers!…

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What Patch Adams Can Tell Us About Music Therapy in Healthcare

By L. Samuel Gracida | August 20, 2018

I watched the movie Patch Adams again recently. It relates the life of Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams. He was an American physician, comedian, social activist, and author played in the movie by Robin Williams. If you have not watched it, I highly recommend it! Patch Adams basically advocates for a more humanistic way of dealing with patients in healthcare….

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Sam’s Fans Partnership With the Center for Courageous Kids

By L. Samuel Gracida | August 13, 2018

As you know, Sam’s Fans supports and enhances music and art therapy programs that serve seriously ill children and their families. Traditionally, that has meant for the most part that we fund therapists at hospitals. Nevertheless, since last year we have also started funding summer camps that serve this same population. Last year and again this year we gave out a grant to Flying Horse Farms to support their “spotlight club” program….

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