Music therapy brings magic to St. Martha’s Regional Hospital
Twang from an acoustic guitar fills an Antigonish hospital room as a male voice chimes in with lyrics.
Soon, a patient starts to tap his foot; another elderly patient fills in a line of verse.
Since late 2013, music therapist Tom Curry has provided individual and group-based music therapy services at St. Martha’s Regional in Antigonish, arranged through the Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!) community collaboration. More recently, he has brought his talents to the youth health centres at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School and East Antigonish Education Centre and Academy.
The introduction of music therapy has contributed to positive outcomes for patients, students, families and staff. According to Curry, some have said that music therapy has provided a way to “engage people socially, re-introduce them to positive coping, build self-esteem, and encourage participation in activities of daily living.”
Others have found it’s provided adults living with cognitive impairment with a way to reconnect to memories and abilities of their past – an effect that has been therapeutic and has offered much comfort to some patients in their last weeks of life. The addition of this service has been a powerful and transformative enhancement across the continuum of care.
For more information on AHA! and the programs they have support, visit their website http://www.artshealthantigonish.org/