— What is Music Therapy? —
Angelina’s Song advocates for music therapy for pediatric cancer patients and raises money for childhood cancer research. With no cure for pediatric cancer, we can make a difference in the lives of those who are impacted by childhood cancer.
“Music therapy is the prescribed use of music by a qualified person to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems,” according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Music therapy is part of creative arts therapy which includes the arts, music, and dance and movement.
People who listened to music in the operating room reported less discomfort during their procedure. And those who heard music in the recovery room used less opioid medication for pain.
Music therapy also helps veterans, senior citizens, among other demographics facing stresses, trauma, and individuals focusing on their well-being. Music can evoke memories, reduce agitation, assist communication, and improve physical coordination as noted in individuals with dementia.
Music therapy can help those recovering from a brain injury that damaged the left-brain responsible for speech. Because singing ability originates in the right side of the brain, people can work around the injury to the left side of their brain by first singing their thoughts and then gradually dropping the melody.
Music therapy has been tested in a variety of patients, ranging from those with intense short-term pain to those with chronic pain. Over all, music therapy decreases pain perception, reduces the amount of pain medication needed, helps relieve depression in pain patients, and gives them a sense of better control over their pain.
Music Therapy encourage positive self-esteem and body image, promotes self-care and efficacy, and creates feelings of control and independence. It also creates friendships and a community for patients.
Listening to music helps reduce anxiety associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It can help quell nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy. Music therapy also helps children, and their families, understand the pains, stress, and anxiety patients may experience due to their illness or hospitalization.
“Childhood Cancer Facts,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
“Childhood Cancer Facts: By the Numbers,” Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
“Creative Arts Therapies,” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
“How music can help you heal,” Harvard Health Blog