Music Therapy – The Power of Music

Author: Julie Matthews
September 2, 2015

Julie Matthews

Julie Matthews

Director of Content & Social Media at The Side-Out Foundation
Julie blogs about her personal experience with leukemia and life from a patient’s perspective.She also writes about Side-Out news and events.She is a race walker, a dog lover, and a dedicated #bearcam watcher.
Julie Matthews

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Music Therapy

Originally posted May 15, 2013

Music is magical. It can inspire, it can soothe, it can energize. For patients, music can serve as a vital outlet, a medium to express your anger, frustration, fear and joy. It has even been found to have a physical benefit for patients. Throughout my treatment for leukemia, music was a constant. Sometimes I use music therapy to make me smile, sometimes I used it to help me cry. I remember walking the halls of the hospital, enjoying the music of the harpist who volunteered to trek her instrument up to the oncology floor and play for patients. Some hospitals even have musicians make personal visits to a patient’s room through a program called Musicians on Call!

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a respected profession and music itself is an expression that can be shared across cultures. We choose it to suit our moods and each one of us has a personal soundtrack, songs that couple with specific moments in our lives. The mixed tapes of the 80’s have evolved into convenient, easy-to-create playlists you can share on sites like Spotify. When we share these soundtracks, we share a deeper part of ourselves, sometimes fun and goofy, sometimes serious and reflective.

The playlist below is excerpted from a playlist I call “San Francisco”. Strange title, you’re probably thinking, but to me “San Francisco” is more than a city name. It is where I completed my first full marathon for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, my first marathon ever! It is where I showed my family, friends and thousands of strangers that I was healthy again. Two Octobers prior to the marathon, I had a stem cell transplant as treatment for recurrent leukemia. “San Francisco” is my kicking cancer’s butt soundtrack. Each of these songs makes me smile or want to dance. What songs make your top soundtracks?


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