Musical Intervention Strikes a Chord with Patients

WHEN YOU THINK of a hospital, what do you hear?

Distant, persistent beeping, shoes squeaking, sirens approaching and suddenly stopping, the clanging of a gurney, voices passing in different speeds and tones, a muffled cough, double doors swinging to a close?

For some of us, the hospital is a second home. For many patients, on the other hand, it’s far from it. To make patients feel better, therapists, volunteers, and patients across the world have found ways to fill the spaces between these sounds with something familiar and healing. They play music.

Between beeps from a heart monitor, imagine a stroke survivor playing a West African djembe drum, 3,000 kids strumming ukuleles, the echoes of a folk harp, and feet stamping through recovery to a melody. (Ok, not all at once.)

These melodies are not just morale boosters; the healing power of music has been studied and proven. Neurologic music therapists utilize the relationship between music and neuroplasticity to help the brain heal itself.

“In addition to the profound functional outcomes, when using NMT we often see the positive energy not only of the patient but of their family and often other caregivers,” says Brian Harris, Certified Neurologic Music Therapist.”

With the rapid growth of mHealth and home monitoring, the not-so-distant future of healthcare could be assisted by a healing soundtrack at the hospital and at home.

Rock on.

–Shelby