MUSIC THERAPY RESEARCH

 

1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  43 children per day are expected to be diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is the number 1 cause of death by disease among children.  Yet, since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer and only 3 drugs have been approved for use in children.  This is due partly to the fact that only 4% of federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric caner.  Our purpose in starting Angelina’s Song Foundation is to not only raise awareness for pediatric cancer and help raise money for research, but to help foster music therapy for pediatric cancer patients.  If we cannot cure pediatric cancer today we can at the very least make a difference in the lives of those who suffer with it.  We want to help fund music therapy in children’s hospitals, give scholarships for music lessons, get kids in studios to express themselves, maybe get them to see their favorite concert when they feel well enough.  Anything to help them cope.  

 

A growing body of research shows that music is very powerful and can improve medical outcomes and quality of life in a variety of ways.  

 

> Improves invasive procedures. Those patients who listened to music before their procedure had reduced anxiety and a reduced need for sedatives. Those who listened to music in the operating room reported less discomfort during their procedure. Hearing music in the recovery room lowered the use of opioid painkillers.

> Restores lost speech. Music therapy can help people who are recovering from a brain tumor or traumatic brain injury that has damaged the left-brain region responsible for speech. Because singing ability originates in the right side of the brain, people can work around the injury to the left side of their brain by first singing their thoughts and then gradually dropping the melody. Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords used this technique to enable her to testify before a Congressional committee two years after a gunshot wound to her brain destroyed her ability to speak.

> Reduces side effects of cancer therapy. Listening to music reduces anxiety associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It can also quell nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy.

 

Harvard Health Blog, November 2015

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