“In a hospital, children have so little control. Music therapy gives them some say in what’s
happening to them, such as choosing a favourite song for me to play. Or it can be incorporated into their care. One boy was consistently having a hard time taking his oral medication. We wrote a song together that included a countdown to swallowing the pills. By taking charge through music, he was able to swallow his pills with no trouble after that. It’s rewarding to be able to provide these opportunities. And parents appreciate seeing their child just being a kid.”
At a time where the world is complicated and confusing, music therapy can help a child regulate thoughts and express their feelings in ways that words cannot. From premature infants in the NICU, to children with developmental delays, from marginalized youth at risk, to those learning to process grief for the first time, music therapy is able to address the needs of children from all walks of life.
The structure of a song, a dance or an instrumental piece provides reassurance and can lead a child from disorganized and chaotic behaviour to more integration and focus. Music can immediately ease the fears and anxieties of the child on a hospital bed as they prepare her for surgery. The soothing lull of their mother’s voice can calm a premature infant’s heartbeat. Drum beats can help a non-verbal child signify the difference between joy and anger. A simple strum of guitar strings can ignite the senses of a shy, unengaged youth. In hospice care, music therapy improves quality of life and brings much needed strength for families of terminally ill children. Music Therapy meets a child where they are at and sparks within them a world of joy, growth, and imagination.
No contribution is too small!