Three years in the making, and I am now officially a Certified Therapeutic Musician!
Therapeutic music is live music played at the bedside, where the musician responds to immediate needs of the patient. Vibrations of harp stings applied therapeutically can relieve pain, release anxiety, diminish nausea, stabilize heart rate and body rhythms as well as improve sleep and calm the environment.
Through my training I have played over 45 hours of music at the bedside for 200+ patients. I have played at an outpatient dialysis clinic; a general hospital (for pre- and post- operations and in ICU (intensive care unit); skilled nursing facilities; and for hospice.
First and foremost – thank you dear husband and daughter, you have been with me on this journey all the way… Many hours I have been absent from home to make this certification happen and I know its wasn’t easy to have me gone at suppertime and sometimes bedtime – I love you.
Many thanks to my parents Otto & Nancy, for lending me the money for Level 2 – you have given me the greatest amount of musical support in my life – I love you both so much.
To my awesome mentor Edie Enns (Bremerton, WA) for your unwaivering cheerfulness, career insight and faith in me. Thank you Dee Sweeney (Littleton, CO), program director, for your hard work of managing everything!
Essential Thank you to my internship venues and my patrons of support: NW Kidney Center (Annette Gildeman); Columbia Lutheran Home (Chris Galvin); and Highline Hospital (Kimberly Couret). Without your approval of having me play for your patients/residents, I would have never been able to complete my intern hours.
Thanks Laurie Riley, for starting this program in the first place! Like you, I believe so much in the healing power of music – I would have never guessed that meeting you at Vashon Island Harp Camp 5 years ago would have started all this! – thank you Leslie McMichael for inviting me out. Susan McLain, thank you for the use of “little sister” as I like to call her. Judy Friesem, thank you for letting me talk your ear off. Thanks to my colleagues down at the Musicians’ Union who have been so flexible and supportive of me over the years without really knowing it! – Motter Snell, Warren Johnson, Kirsten James, Nate Omdal, Joan Sandler, Paul Bigman… you stand up for what is just and fair in the world and you’re awesome.
To see a project like this from its start to finish has been more deeply rewarding than I could have imagined. I see this chapter in my life playing therapeutic bedside music as being another tool in my “musical toolkit” – I marvel at the places it has already taken me and I look very forward to the future.