15th February, 2021

Thanks to your donations we are able to fund a music therapy service at Dove Palliative Care at Caloundra Hospital.

Our therapist Tracie Wicks has an offsider helping at the Unit until April, so we thought we would introduce you to music therapy student Katherine Anderson who is in her final year of her Masters.

PIC: Katherine Anderson, music therapy student at Dove Palliative Care

QUESTION:Tell us about yourself and how you came to being a student with Tracie at Dove?

My name is Katherine Anderson, and I am currently in my second year of the two-year Master of Music Therapy via the University of Melbourne. I am a Brisbane-based flautist, composer and music teacher, and my undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Music (Honours), Majoring in Composition. So far in my masters degree, I have had two different placements with children and adolescents. I have done a fair bit of work with children outside of the degree, too, so I have been really hoping I would get the opportunity to work with adults this semester!

QUESTION: What do you love most about music therapy?

From before a person takes their first breath until they take their very last, music can have such a powerful impact on the brain and body. I love learning how to utilise the benefits of music listening and music-making in ways that can really help people.

QUESTION: Have you met any memorable patients yet?

I have only been at Dove for a couple of days, but I have been privileged to meet a handful of patients and their families. During these sessions, I was able to join in with the music-making and have even already added some new songs to my repertoire! So far, I have observed the ways music can bring moments of solace, reminiscence, connection, comfort, and relaxation to patients and families who are in pain and distress. I have seen couples share precious moments together, becoming teary and holding each other close while listening to or singing along to songs that have been pivotal or meaningful in their relationship. I have seen songs and musical genres inspire whole-family discussions about fond memories they have shared together. I see it as a great honour to have the opportunity to offer something so meaningful to patients and their families during such times.

QUESTION:When your placement ends in April, what do you hope to do after this time?

Once I complete this placement and the four subjects I am currently undertaking, I will only have one semester left until I become a Registered Music Therapist. Hence, I will be making the most of the time I have left here at Dove with Tracie and will be soaking up all her music therapy knowledge and expertise! Next semester, I will be organising an independent student placement, and so I am currently on the lookout for facilities which do not yet have a music therapist, and which would be willing to have me there for a day or two each week. In addition, I will be keeping an eye out for potential career opportunities for next year.)