Wishlist has funded music therapy at Dove Palliative Care for several years now, and the Wishlist-funded music therapist Tracie Wicks often has students on placements. One of these students was Katherine Anderson and she wanted to share her experiences…
“My name is Katherine and I have recently completed my music therapy placement at Dove as part of my final year of my masters degree. I attended Dove two days a week for the past three months. I would like to thank Dove for having me during this time and Wishlist for enabling the music therapy program. I would also like to thank all those who supported me throughout my placement, especially Tracie for the time, patience, and knowledge she has shared with me,” Katherine said.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about the ways that music, when used intentionally within a therapeutic relationship, can reduce the physical, psychological, and spiritual pain and suffering of palliative patients, as well as facilitate moments of connection, reminiscence, and enjoyment for patients and their loved ones. The vignettes below was a highlight for me during my time at Dove, and exemplifies some of the ways music can help to support the quality-of-life of palliative patients and their families.
“The first patient who was referred to music therapy had been experiencing anxiety and distress. Though initially hesitant about accepting the offer of a music therapy session, the patient was intrigued by the idea of hearing me play the flute. She requested that I play her a song, and I provided the patient and her family with live flute music. The patient expressed how much it was helping her to relax, and asked me to continue sharing music with her.
“Her family members also expressed how meaningful and enjoyable the music was for them, and I later found out that the session had been a catalyst that enabled family members to express themselves to the patient, moving them to share profound emotional moments together. The patient was provided with further support throughout her end-of-life care, including an individualised iPod playlist and a final session of flute and guitar/vocal music for her and a large number of family members.”