Music is Good for the Soul

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Music is Good for the Soul

When Hospice Case Managers ask me to provide Live Therapeutic Music sessions, the requests are usually to help manage symptoms of agitation, respiratory distress, or pain. But recently, I received a request to help encourage a patient who had become despondent after losing her independence and ability to play piano over the span of only a few weeks.
When I met JoAnne, I could sense her sadness but when she saw my guitar, her countenance brightened. JoAnne began sharing about how she loved music. Being in her 90s, I decided to play music from the ’40s and ‘50s in hopes of finding a song that might rekindle fond memories.
I played several songs by various artists while JoAnne nodded her approval, but she seemed reserved, as though she was just being polite. When I played ‘Hey Good Lookin’ by Hank Williams, I was more than surprised to hear her begin to yodel. As I repeated the chorus, she would yodel “How about cooking something up with me?” She then broke into the chorus of “Lovesick Blues”, another of Hank’s hits from the late ‘40s. While JoAnne yodeled, I did my best to follow her on guitar. After several choruses, JoAnne had to stop and catch her breath.
She then recalled how, as a little girl, she and her family would sit around the radio; listening to the Grand ‘Ole Opry radio program and how her family and neighbors would gather on her front porch to sing and play music. She also told me that she actually preferred cold weather ho-downs, because everyone would gather in the parlor and she could play piano with the other musicians.
As JoAnne shared, her gaze seemed to reach far beyond the walls of her room back to 1948, where she could re-live the memories that she has cherished for more than 50 years. She then turned her focus back to the present and said, “Music is so good for the soul. It helps us hold on to memories that sustain us for the rest of our lives.” Music is a time machine that can carry us to places where our fondest memories reside.

2019-02-26T03:43:05+00:00 September 14th, 2018|Blog Post, Patient Experiences|0 Comments

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