Archive for March, 2010

Not that I’m counting, but…

FOUR MORE WEEKS!!  Can you tell I’m excited?!?  (I’d be even more excited if I knew exactly what I’ll be doing upon completion of internship, but hey, what can you do?)

I really enjoyed writing my last post – it was a cleansing experience of sorts for me.  I was actually up on the floor this week where that patient was during his time at the hospital, and talked to some of the nurses about him – I guess he made quite an impact on everyone he met while he was there.  I told them that I had found out that he passed away, and they said they had been wondering as well.  It’s only human to be curious, I think – we work for so long with a patient, and then when they are discharged from the hospital you never hear from them again, and to NOT wonder what happened after they left is inhuman.  🙂

With that being said, here’s my “patient highlight” from this past week (edited from the actual Patient Highlight I do for internship, so pardon some of the clinical-ness):

When I entered D’s room, she was sitting in bed, alert, watching a movie; mother present.  I noticed dinosaur coloring books on D’s bed and asked about her interest in dinosaurs.  D and I wrote a song about dinosaurs, with the chorus “I love dinosaurs/I love dinosaurs/I love dinosaurs/Yes, I do!” and verses made up by D’s answering questions about dinosaurs.  D answered the questions in rhythm with the song and sang along with the chorus every time.

After talking with D and her mother for a while and exploring instruments (yuk-yuk horse, rainstick, egg shakers), we sang several Disney songs together.  During “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, D whistled during the interlude, and she sang through most of the song while playing egg shakers.  D began to talk about her younger brother, who she taught to dance, and D’s mother showed us a video of him dancing in their house on their camera.  When I asked D if she would like to write another song, she nodded and smiled, saying she wanted to write a song about her brother.  The chorus of this song was “I have a baby brother named ____/And I love him so”.  Similar to the first song, D answered questions about her brother to fill in the verses, and she sang along to the chorus every time.  We finished the session by singing “Under the Sea” while playing instruments.

D was such a vibrant soul and a smart girl who knew exactly what she liked.  The main lesson I learned during this session was GO FOR IT!  Kids love to create, and they make up songs of their own all the time, so they’re open to the idea.  Also, particularly with kids, songwriting doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact, if it’s simple, they’ll be more likely to sing along.

I think music therapy works so well at a children’s hospital because kids who are there are so used to feeling “sick”.  Music is something they can do that normalizes the environment, and they don’t need to feel sick for a short period of time.  It is really difficult at times to watch patients at the hospital who get increasingly sick, but it is important to always remember the incredible spirit behind each child we visit.

This week is going to be fairly busy – a couple of things I’ve never done before, including presenting to a large group of high school kids about music therapy (!!) – but I’m feeling strangely good about it.  I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s approaching faster than I expected, and beginning to bask in that light feels great.  Another good word to describe that feeling would be “senior-itis” (or since I’m working on my master’s, maybe we can just call it “intern-itis”?).  Either way. It feels fantastic 🙂

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March 7, 2010 at 11:37 am Leave a comment


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