Evangelyn is an 8 year old girl who is full of life, creativity and sweetness. She loves music and loves to dance and sing. She has been receiving treatment at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital due to a astrocytoma brain tumor. During treatment, Evangelyn has been receiving physical therapy to help regain some of her motor functioning. Our music therapy team here at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital has also been working with Evangelyn and decided to offer a co-treat session with her physical therapist, Christiana. In this video you will see music therapy intern, Shelby Marnett and Expressive Arts Therapies manager, Jenna Bollard facilitating music therapy interventions to promote entrainment and encourage increased endurance and a decreased perception of pain and duration of exercises. Jenna and Shelby are guiding Evangelyn in some party dance moves while Christiana supports her and keeps her safe. In this video you see Evangelyn rocking out a personalized rendition of one of her favorite songs, “Can’t Stop the Feelin’” and practicing her weight shifting, balance, range of motion, coordination and strengthening her arms and legs.
Evangelyn also worked with Shelby on her fine motor skills, learning to play the ukulele during their music therapy sessions. Music therapy has tailored personalized interventions for Evangelyn that are informed by Dr. Thaut’s Neurologic Music Therapy research along with providing an experience that is motivating and fun. “I’ve never seen anything like this before," says Juana, Evangelyn’s mother. "It is so good to see her smiling and dancing again and she is doing so well with these movements.” The mother also reported that “playing the ukulele with Shelby is the only way Evangelyn would use her fingers and exercise her left side. It has been fun for her and really helpful in working her left side.”
We are so proud of Evangelyn for her determination and hard work!