People often ask me how I can work in the hospice realm, when you know the relationship you start with a client will soon end in death. I try to make the most of each moment with my clients, focusing on living the best we can in that moment. When faced with a terminal prognosis, one tends to prioritize what is most important in their lives to either confront or share with those around them. When you share a well-written song and those song lyrics with someone, the client can compare his/her situation with the neutral, non-judgmental song lyrics as a springboard for reviewing their own life, first with the non-judgmental music therapist, and then perhaps with his/her loved ones. I am continuously in awe of the power music has in reaching people who might otherwise be “unreachable,” due to intentional emotional walls the client puts up as a defense mechanism, or a deficit in cognitive or communication skills, and I am humbled by my position as the vessel used to share that powerful music with my clients. I consider myself a life-long learner, and I have learned a lot from my clients.
Please visit the Music Therapy site for more information on programs at West Music.