Home > The West Music Blog > Two of Us Had Tears in Our Eyes….
West Music Blog

The West Music Blog

Two of Us Had Tears in Our Eyes….
By Rosemary, MT-BC
6/27/2011 11:41:00 AM

A hospice patient with Parkinson’s and accompanying confusion is rocking back and forth in his bed when I enter his room in a care facility.  At his side an aide is trying to keep him from falling out of bed saying, “No, you’ve got to stay in bed”.   He explains the patient has just been put back into bed (being a high fall risk he cannot be in his chair while alone in his room) and the aide needs to leave.

Welcome to my world as a Music Therapist. 

Thankfully, this is not my first visit with this patient.  I had never seen him this physically agitated before, though I had heard he could be combative at times with staff. I knew he loved religious music so I sat next to the side of his bed and the aide gratefully left his post.  I began playing the patient’s favorite hymns.   I started with “Amazing Grace” and then “In the Garden”. Throughout all this time he continued rocking back and forth in his bed.    I decided to match the tempo of the music with his body motions and began playing old Gospel songs, chaining together “I’ll Fly Away”, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Count Your Blessings”.   Suddenly the patient stopped moving and said, “I’ve got to quit”.  Something about how he said it made me stop and wonder if he wanted me to quit…. so I did.  And then he said, “Unless you want to do that second one again”.   WOW!!!   He had been processing the music all along.

I had to think back but then asked if he wanted “In the Garden” again and he said, “Yes”.  I began the song.  His body rocking never returned and this time he sang a bass line along with me.  During the song the patient’s daughter walked quietly into the room and heard her father singing. When we both noticed her and they greeted I was ready to end the session but checked it out with him first.  “We could do that last song again”, he said.  We did but this time all of us sang in three part harmony.

Two of us had tears in our eyes as I left the room.   

Tags: Music Therapy, Power of Music, Hospice, Parkinson's, Gospel Music
Categories: Music Therapy
Bookmark and Share
No Comments have been submitted.

Write your own comment
  Your name (required):  
  Your email address (required):  
  Your website address (optional):  
  Submit a Picture No larger than 250kb (optional):  
  Submit a video via URL (optional):  
  Your comments (required):  
Text From Image:
Include comments
Mariachi (11)
Live Sound, Recording & Software (4)
Music Advocacy (52)
Music Education (92)
piano (6)
Band & Orchestra (81)
Classroom Furniture & Equipment (12)
Company Culture (71)
Conservatory (345)
Contests (12)
Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards (23)
Drums & Percussion (25)
Extraordinary Associate of the Month (46)
Guitars & Folk (35)
Kids & Movement (26)
Live Sound & DJ (8)
Music Therapy (55)
Music, Books & Resources (62)
Orff (15)
Press Releases (17)
Recorders (16)
Recording & Software (8)
West Music Cedar Falls (66)
West Music Coralville (145)
West Music Decorah (3)
West Music Marion (110)
West Music Piano Gallery (58)
West Music Quad Cities (77)
West Music Dubuque (1)
Recent Posts
Music on the March: The Joy of Sousa
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Des Moines July 2017 Musician of the Month: Channing Rooda
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids July 2017 Muisician of the Month: Christine Newlin
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids July 2017 Musician of the Month: Sophia Spinner
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville July 2017 Musician of the Month: Jayce Norpel
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids July 2017 Teacher Feature: Les Ohlhauser
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Des Moines July 2017 Teacher Feature: Mark Willie
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Des Moines July 2017 Teacher Feature: Esther Lim
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Falls July 2017 Teacher Feature: Maryann "Mary Mo" Hinman
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Educating the Next Generation of Music Teachers
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams