Article: Music Therapy Brings Solace to COVID-19 Patients and Healers (NPR)
Tom Sweitzer facilitating a weekly virtual music therapy group.
Photo by Michele Abercrombie/NPR
We all need some hope in our news cycle these days, right?!
I want to start off by saying that I am SO grateful for the incredible, worldwide music therapy community. This story shows how music therapists have not only continued to show up to their work each day with bravery but have even found the energy to conduct research on how our practice fits into a grieving world.
"Music therapy treatments, tailored to each patient's needs, can involve creating, singing, moving to and/or listening to music in ways that have been shown to promote physical and psychological healing."
"Research has shown the reduction in pain and stress from such treatments can be profound."
This article interviews two music therapists, one of them being Tom Sweitzer, a music therapist based out of Virginia that has had COVID-19 and continues to recover.
Sweitzer looked at his own experiences with isolation and the lingering side affects of the virus and asked the question "how can music therapy fit in here?" One answer: virtual music therapy groups consisting of breathing, movement and connection. Sweitzer experienced prolonged side effects of the virus, specifically breathing difficulties, which gave him a firsthand glimpse into the need for physiological coping within COVID-19 survivors. He found that music was a powerful modality for tending to the respiratory symptoms and growing a social, supportive community.
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, a music therapist in Italy known as Filippo Giordano asked the question "how can we bring the benefits of music therapy to frontline workers?" Not surprisingly, healthcare professionals reported significantly less "tiredness, sadness, fear and worry" after listening to customized playlists and completing interactive listening guides. Giordano is also currently conducting research on music therapy within COVID-19 ICU spaces, and hopes to release his findings in May of 2021.
Like I always say, music is our constant in times of chaos. Although music therapists aren't deemed "essential," I would argue that music therapists are an integral piece of the puzzle that is supporting our communities in coping with these difficult times.
If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about music therapy, reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 612-200-3284.
Blair, Elizabeth. “Music Therapy Brings Solace To COVID-19 Patients And Healers.” NPR, NPR, 13 Feb. 2021, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/02/13/965644120/music-therapy-brings-solace-to-covid-19-patients-and-healers.