Music therapist Camilla Schroeder: I love what I do!
March is Music Therapy Awareness Month and residents at Kiwanis Care Centre in North Vancouver are enjoying their new set of Tone Chimes within the music therapy sessions provided 3 days a week. Ringing chimes fill the air as residents who may not speak can ring their chime making beautiful music with their peers led by accredited music therapist, Camilla Schroeder. People hard of hearing are able to hear the calming music the chimes provide; many are engaged with others socially within the music and can hear their own successes, making their day more meaningful.
Music Therapy involves a relationship between an Accredited Music Therapist and their client(s). Various musical interventions are used to meet the needs of the clients through live music, singing, rhythm instruments, tone chimes, familiar songs and improvisation to name a few. Benefits include increased oxygen (when singing/dancing), emotional support (eg. when deep feelings arise from hearing familiar music), cognitive stimulation (when reading song lyrics and naming a song from hearing a melody line), reminiscing (when discussing familiar music), and much more. Music awakens people and helps them to share in experiences with peers and the therapist, encouraging socialization and self-expression through the music. Where words are a challenge due to dementia or aphasia, music is a medium for communication and being heard.
“(Music therapy) can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort–between demoralization and dignity.”
~ Barbara Crowe, past president of the National Association for Music Therapy