WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?
Angelina’s Song advocates for music therapy for pediatric cancer patients and raises money for childhood cancer research. With no cure for pediatric cancer, we can make a difference in the lives of those who are impacted by childhood cancer.
“Music therapy is the prescribed use of music by a qualified person to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems,” according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Music therapy is part of creative arts therapy which includes the arts, music, and dance and movement.
These therapies encourage positive self-esteem and body image, promotes self-care and efficacy, and creates feelings of control and independence, CHOP said. Music and creative arts therapy can help children, and their families, understand the pains, stress, and anxiety patients may experience due to their illness or hospitalization. Creative art therapies also allow children, or patients, to create friendships and feel part of a community.
“People who listened to music in the operating room reported less discomfort during their procedure. And those who heard music in the recovery room used less opioid medication for pain,” according to the Harvard Health Blog.
RESTORES SPEECH LOSS
Music therapy can help those recovering from a brain injury that damaged the left-brain region responsible for speech, stated by the Harvard Health Blog. “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 (which) destroyed her ability to speak.”
REDUCES SIDE EFFECTS OF CANCER
“Listening to music helps reduce anxiety associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It can also help quell nausea and vomiting for patients receiving chemotherapy,” said the Harvard Health Blog.
“Music therapy has been tested in a variety of patients, ranging from those with intense short-term pain to those with chronic pain,” the Harvard Health Blog states. “Over all, music therapy decreases pain perception, reduces the amount of pain medication needed, helps relieve depression in pain patients, and gives them a sense of better control over their pain.”
Music therapy also helps veterans, senior citizens, among other demographics facing stresses, trauma, and individuals focusing on their well-being. Music can “evoke memories, reduce agitation, assist communication, and improve physical coordination,” as noted in individuals with dementia, according to the Harvard Health Blog.
“Childhood Cancer Facts,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Childhood Cancer Facts: By the Numbers,” Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
“Creative Arts Therapies,” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“How music can help you heal,” Harvard Health Blog.
If interested in finding a music therapist in your area, visit the American Music Therapist Association's website or email findMT@musictherapy.org.
FIND A MUSIC THERAPIST
PLAYLISTS + PODCASTS
FIGHT SONG FEATURES
What's your fight song? Have it featured in Angelina's Playlist by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS PEDIATRIC CANCER?
Pediatric cancer “is found in children and teens, and sometimes young adults. It is not just one disease. There are many types, which can be found in different places throughout the body,” according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
One is 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer. Daily, 43 children, ages 0 to 19,
are diagnosed with cancer. Annually, in the U.S., there are 15,590 new diagnoses and across the globe there are more than 300,000 cases of pediatric cancer, estimated to be 800 new childhood cancer diagnoses daily, according to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children, yet, since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for children with cancer and only three drugs have been approved for use in children. This is due in part to the fact that only 4 percent of federal government cancer research funding benefits pediatric cancer research.