Music heals in a variety of important ways. It’s used as a therapeutic tool to target the unique psychosocial needs of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and alleviate the physical and emotional side effects of treatment. When used in conjunction with conventional care, music offers a respite for young adults and caregivers struggling with ways to cope.
As a licensed Creative Arts Therapist with 6 years of experience working in the Artist-in-Residence program at Roswell Park, I’ve witnessed the significant benefits music therapy has for young cancer patients. Music naturally lifts the sprits and creates a soothing environment for patients with high levels of pain, stress and anxiety. It is especially effective when combined with positive visualizations – closing your eyes and imagining a place you love. It creates a calm, peaceful state of mind conducive to healing and wellbeing.
Music therapy involves songwriting, playing instruments, playing live or recorded music and sometimes adding visualization or guided imagery. I often bring relaxation instruments to inpatient rooms, waiting areas and pediatric communal spaces to encourage patients to connect and socialize through music. The energy of the room always shifts to a more peaceful environment and everyone breathes a little easier.
Each music intervention is used to accomplish individualized goals and can easily transition to your home environment. Just listen to music you love!
Music therapy is designed to:
- Promote wellness
- Manage stress
- Ease anxiety
- Reduce pain
- Express feelings
- Enhance memory
- Improve communication & social connectedness
- Boost confidence
- Promote physical rehabilitation
- Increase resilience
- Lower blood pressure
The Artist-in-Residence program, part of the Arts in Healthcare Initiative of the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts, plays a strong supporting role in patient care at Roswell Park. Self-expression helps us feel more alive, spontaneous and in control. Studies have shown that patients who engage in music therapy in a hospital environment tend to feel less bored, sad and anxious. Music gives young adults control over their immediate environment, even if just for a while.
To learn more about the Artist-in-Residence program or to request aninpatient visit, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your healthcare provider for more information.