South Florida Hospital News
Sunday October 13, 2019

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June 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 12



A Note for a Memory

There are few things in our lives that are universal; one of them is music. Somewhere or somehow, someone around the world is listening to a song that moves and speaks to them. As many have said before, music is a universal language. Death is also universal; which is difficult and heartbreaking, yet it’s a universal affliction everyone will encounter at one point or another. In Hospice, music and death are combined through Music Therapy.

Music Therapy is an established clinical and evidence-based health profession in which music is used therapeutically to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals (AMTA, 2019). With hospice in mind, board certified music therapists (MTBC) come to aid in decreasing pain, anxiety, increase relaxation and engagement, as well as improve cognition and speech. Most importantly, music therapy’s main goal is to improve the quality of life for Hospice patients.

Medical professionals tell families that hearing is the last to go, so communication with their loved one is highly encouraged. When a MTBC comes to see a patient and their family, several things occur. Through patient preferred music, communication is strengthened along with the relationships between the patient and family members because everyone is engaging together through song.
Music is a powerful thing that is so universal, that people forget how much it’s a part of their lives until it’s presented in front of them. The song the MTBC sings might take someone back to that summer ‘69 with the Beatles, or that time Jim asked Sue to dance for the first time while “Fly me to the Moon” was playing, or that time mom sang “You are my sunshine” every night as a lullaby. Music may help physically; but it heals the heart and soul just as much.

Laura-Maria Chami is a Music Therapist at Catholic Hospice Inc.

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