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Impact Stories

"I am the grateful mama to 4 incredible little girls.  2 of which spent a lot of time in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit) following their births.  Avery my oldest, then Anna my youngest 6 years later.  It's not an easy beginning of life going from birth to hospital but we were fortunate to have many wonderful services offered to our family to help ease the fears and adjustments. 

 

One of those services which I think of so fondly and is still impacting us to this day (11 & 5 years later!) is music therapy.  Prior to my oldest daughters hospitalization I was not very familiar with music therapy.  I'll always remember the moment the kind music therapist approached me in the NICU as I was spending time with my daughter, I was feeling so many emotions as I was uncertain of what the future held for my sweet baby girl.  He asked me if I'd like to sing for my daughter and he would record it for her.  I loved this idea and had the perfect songs ready that I had been singing to her in my belly!  This experience was so incredibly special and moving and the music therapist made it all very comfortable.  Once I had the CD he made of songs, peaceful sounds we selected and stories read to her I played it for her often and it provided both of us such comfort.  She's 11 now and still cherishes these songs! 

 

Fast forward 6 years later and sweet Anna Joy was born.  She spent 72 days in the NICU after being born at 29 weeks.  We were so fortunate to have the same kind hearted music therapist there for us again!  We made a CD for Anna with new songs special to her and just as before the experience is so cherished!  This time we recorded the songs right in Anna's hospital room, I'll never forget it.  It's been almost 5 years since our last hospital stay and I am still so thankful for what music therapy provided for my family!" 

- Dayna, grateful mom

This is a 9 year old patient with weekly visits to the clinic for infusions. Music therapy has been utilized for procedural support, providing a calming environment for both the patient and family. Mom has shared on multiple occasions that music therapy also helps her to relax in the hospital environment!

This is a 5 year old patient with frequent clinic visits for infusions. Music therapy has been utilized to improve creative expression and improve gross/fine motor movement, as well as for procedural support. Mom or Grandma is often present and encourages the patient to engage in the music. He enjoys playing the guitar and drums and often sings along!

A toddler patient who I originally visited by myself was always difficult to engage in music therapy interventions.  She had to move her body constantly around the room, and had significant difficulty focusing on the interventions I had brought to her.  I was not seeing her making eye contact with me, visually tracking instruments, reaching out, or interacting with the music in any other way.  The massage therapist often had a similar experience, describing having to walk around the house massaging the patient.

 

When we began to co-treat, it quickly became evident that the combination of different sensory input helped the patient’s body to relax and remain in one place.  She would rest her head in the massage therapist’s lap, reach out for instruments, smile, and become very calm.  Combining our interventions helped us both do our jobs, and it helped the patient gain more benefit from our visits.

We visit an older infant with a degenerative disease and a very loving family.  This patient struggles with pain and often clenches his fists and other muscles in response to this pain.  During our co-visits, the massage therapist holds the patient and gently massages him.  The family had mentioned a special song on our first visit, so I prepared it for our next trip out.  While the patient received his massage, I quietly played the special song that his parents used to sing to him.  The family gathered around and tearfully sang along, talking about their love for the patient.  Meanwhile, the patient had become so completely relaxed that his muscles went limp and he fell asleep.