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Summary of Research Paper about Music Therapy & NICU

Oct 10, 2019

Loewy J, Stewart K, Dassler A-M, Telsey A, Homel P, Louis Armstrong T. The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Premature Infants. 2013 [cited 2019 Sep 3]; Available from: www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2012-1367

Music is a universal phenomenon, having powerful effects on the human body, mind and spirit from before we are born until the end of our lives. Some modern research suggests that music therapy can play a vital role in the health and well-being of infants, specifically for those in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In a study performed by Joanne Loewy, Kristen Stewart, Ann-Marie Dassler, Aimee Telsey and Peter Homet, the effect of live music was investigated to explore potential improvements in both physiological and developmental functions of infants. Some of these functions include oxygen saturation levels, heart rates and respiratory rates, activity levels, sleep, feeding behaviour, and weight gain. Because the musical elements...

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Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Pediatric Postoperative Distress

Jul 09, 2019

 

As a student of health sciences specializing in child health, as well as an avid disciple of classical music performance, I found myself gravitating toward the field of music therapy during my undergraduate years. It was a perfect intersection between healthcare and music, and led me to do my senior year thesis project on it. The topic of the project, What is the effectiveness of music therapy on pediatric postoperative distress?, encompassed all of my passions; music, healthcare, and child health. Part of my project was conducting a systematic literature review on this topic.

The systematic literature review posed as a challenge from the start, because of how often academic literature used music medicine and music therapy interchangeably. It seemed that regardless of the geographic region, the study design, or the purpose of music therapy interventions, the term “music therapy” was frequently used to describe passive music listening, which is music medicine. Many...

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A Whole New World

Jun 05, 2019

My name is Zachary Brown, and I am a grade 12 student at Sir John A. MacDonald
secondary school as well as an aspiring music therapist. Recently I was able to experience two whole new sides of music therapy that I hadn't been exposed to before.

During one of my visits to a long term care facility that I've been volunteering at, I got to sit in on a one on one session between Laura, the facility's music therapist and one of their residents. I got to see Laura work alongside the physiotherapist that works there as well, while they worked with another resident. Both of these experiences introduced me to a new world of music therapy that is vastly different than the group therapy sessions I had been exposed to before.

There is something truly special about setting aside a time to devote all your energy to one person. I saw this firsthand, as I witnessed my first ever one on one music therapy session. When we met the resident for her session, she appeared at first to be...

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What Am I Doing?

May 01, 2019
As a music therapist at the beginning of my career, I have already experienced amazing highs, discouraging moments, and plenty of twists and turns. I knew music therapy was a career I wanted to pursue when I was thirteen years old. My physiotherapist at the time began to talk to me about music therapy. Though the profession very much intrigued me, I really had no idea what being a music therapist looked like. Despite so many unknowns, there were two things I knew for certain: I loved working with children and I knew music could be incredibly therapeutic. So why not combine the two!
 
While completing my education at Wilfrid Laurier University, I had the opportunity to dip my toes in a variety of client groups, ranging from clients who were twelve years old to ninety years old. Don’t get me wrong, having all of these placements and experiences were incredibly helpful and educational. That being said, it can still be very difficult to get a clear idea of what you’re...
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Learning Patience

Apr 16, 2019

To the person who feels stuck in limbo,

This past year I’ve gained an important skill, and that is patience. I would imagine that if you ask anyone what skills a music therapist needs, many would include patience as one of them, as something that is “already a given”, which is something I thought as well. But now the skill of patience has a new meaning. Not only should a person have patience and compassion when working with vulnerable persons but they also need to have that for themselves.

To be patient with yourself is to know that even if you don’t succeed the first time it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough. To be patient with yourself means to give yourself all the time you need to have personal growth and insight. To be patient with yourself means to gain experience by doing things that make you happy and not doing them because they’ll give you a “leg up” against someone else who is also trying to be the best that they can...

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For Cause Not Applause

Apr 04, 2019

I was first introduced to music therapy in high school. As part of a grade 10 music project, we were asked to choose a career in music and write a report about it. My music teacher suggested I write about music therapy since I was interested in health sciences. I wrote the report and thought that music therapy was cool, but I still really wanted to be a doctor. Over time, I started revisiting music therapy as a potential career choice. After more research and soul searching, I decided music therapy was something I wished to pursue. I completed a co-op with Rachael Finnerty at the music therapy studio she owned at the time. It was through this that I first heard of the music therapy program at Acadia University, a small school in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I visited the university for an open house and fell in love with Wolfville and Acadia. I auditioned and was accepted into the music therapy program. I started in September of 2014.

My four years as a music therapy student were full of...

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Women in Music Therapy

Mar 08, 2019

As we come together to celebrate International women's day as well as Music therapy awareness month, let us take a moment to acknowledge the pioneers of the practice. Dating back to as early as the 1800s to early 1900s (Byers, 2016), the use of music has been a healing tool for many. However, we often forget to acknowledge that this practice has been built on a foundation of women. Much like the ancient Greeks, pioneers Eva Vescelius, Isa Maud Ilsen, and Harriet Ayer Seymour (2016) believed that music was there to be a tool to facilitate health (2016).

Unfortunately, as these three women passed, so did their foundations and organizations. This resulted in a loss of files and physical proof of their practices. Due to these circumstances, the practice of music therapy only respectively became an official occupation post world war II within the United States of America (2016). However, there are records of others using live music to sedate hospital patients in the year of 1891...
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First Impressions

Mar 06, 2019

My name is Zachary Brown, I am a grade 12 student at Sir John A. MacDonald secondary school, and an aspiring music therapist. Earlier this week I got my first impression of what music therapy in action looks like.

This week I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer at a longterm care facility in Hamilton, Ontario. The music therapist at the long term care facility, graciously allowed me to shadow her as she ran a group session with 10 of the residents. As Laura sang and played her guitar for the residents, they joined in with percussion instruments, their voices, and many smiles. As Laura engaged each resident with a song that they helped her choose specifically for them, the mood lightened. I saw music therapy bring joy to people who needed it. Maybe it was due to the excitement of having a song played just for them, or the accomplishment of being able to sing and play along.

My first of impression of music therapy in action filled me with excitement, although it does not seem...

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Music Therapist In Training - Intro

Feb 22, 2019
Author: Nicole Cochrane (MT in Training)

Disclaimer: In order to maintain confidentiality all names have been changed to fictitious ones.*

Hello there! My name is Nicole Cochrane and I’m currently doing my music therapy internship in long-term care (LTC). Starting your internship is a daunting task; you are faced with both professional and personal challenges. In order to address some of these struggles I will be sharing a series of blogs consisting of an ongoing case study. In this first blog I will be introducing myself and what I’ll be covering throughout the series.

So, what am I doing here? This will be an ongoing series geared towards newer music
therapists. Here we will follow the progress of a unique client I’m working with. Through this series we will take a look at what makes this client different from other LTC residents, how new music therapists could work through the challenges presented by these differences as well as the relationship between verbal...
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Finding the Person Within Dementia Through Music Workshop Review

Feb 04, 2019
Author: Jordyn Gibson

Jordyn Gibson is a life-time student at the school of Earth. More formally, she studied Journalism at Ryerson and continues her education in varied certificate programs from Doula Training to Personal Finance. She is deeply passionate about Health and Wellness and how they intersect with Communications and Culture. She intends to use her passion to harness wellness, first within herself and then to transmit that message to the community around her.

I had a really good conversation and it led to an even better one—as they do.
Rachael Finnerty is the Founder and Director of Education of The Ontario Music Therapy Academy, and I had the pleasure of unpacking some concepts around our relationship to music with her. Following our conversation, she invited me to a workshop she was conducting in Hamilton. The workshop was titled Finding the Person Within Dementia Through Music. Music therapists and care professionals from all over the province—someone had...
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