Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hospital's music recitals help to heal listeners

In today's Toronto Star, Megan Olgilvie describes the program at Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga that helps patients to heal through music. In "Music for the body and soul", Olgilvie writes,
""Music therapist Adrienne Pringle says the hospital knows relaxing music that entertains and uplifts will benefit those who are ill, particularly patients in continuing or palliative care... Pringle points out that music does have universal therapeutic qualities. Familiar tunes can transport people back to a certain time and place, stimulating comforting reminiscences.

It can also reach across cultures and break down language barriers, which is important in a community hospital setting. More than 300 different languages and dialects are spoken at the hospital, and music is accessible and adaptable to anyone, she says."Music feeds the soul," Pringle says. "It lifts the spirit and it reaches beyond medication."

During Cindy Mah's performance of light piano solos, which includes "Moon River" and the theme from the movie Forrest Gump, patients and hospital staff gather in the lobby.

Hospital president Wayne Fyffe stops for a moment to enjoy the music. Fyffe says Credit Valley took the advice of patients who said they wanted to look at things that are alive, that would give them hope for the future. The music adds to that feeling. "This does not look, feel, smell or sound like a hospital," he says, waving his arm at the lobby.""
This approach has been supported and encouraged by Thomas Moore, particularly in his recent public talks about current medical practices and contributors to health.