Studies have long shown that music can help patients heal. Brooke Wagner, a music therapist at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, uses music to help put kiddos in the hospital at ease during their treatments and with the stress of being away from home.
She shares a few ways music plays an important role in the care of pediatric patients:
- Music provides a sense of normalcy for kids in the hospital, when there are not a lot of "normal" things happening.
- Therapeutic musical interventions provide a sense of control at a time when kids aren’t in control of what is happening to them. They might choose an instrument to play or a song to sing, or even choose when the session is over.
- It provides relaxation that can lead to improved physiological outcomes such as lowered blood pressure or heart rate, and improved oxygen saturation or respiration.
- Music can be a tool for kids to cope with their diagnosis and express their emotions when feeling overwhelmed, lonely or confused.
- It can help kids bond with their caregivers, nursing staff and doctors, which may help kids feel understood and supported.