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Providing Healing Through Music

“I’m a vocalist, but as part of my music therapy training, I learned how to play percussion, the guitar, and the keyboard,” explains Amira Gill, a music therapy intern at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. “Music therapy is using your skills as a musician to reach certain clinical goals assigned by the hospital for the patients. Goals can include normalizing the hospital environment, pain management, anxiety relief, family bonding, and receptive and expressive communication through songwriting or lyric substitution. A lot of times, our end-of-life patients create legacy songs with their heartbeat. So they make the heartbeat the drum or beat of the song and then write chords or lyrics that the patients wants to be remembered by or that the family wants to speak about. The family can have it forever. It’s really memorable for me to be able to provide such healing in such a moment for a family.”


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