There are many ways that we can experience loss, particularly during this time of pandemic. It may be a bereavement due to the death of a loved one; it may be a loss of identity as work situations change and the economic landscape is in flux; or perhaps a loss of physical contact. Music therapy can provide a creative and flexible frame for processing thoughts and feelings; music makes an immediate connection with our emotions, and where words can often fail us in process, music can provide the voice to our journey.
“Her song is beautiful but that's not the only benefit of these sessions. She has also grown in her self confidence and even stood up to sing on a stage last week!”
- Mom of teenager coming to terms with the loss of a grandparent
Music offers connections. For those at the end of life, it can offer ways to connect with process, ways to build bridges with friends and family during feelings of isolation and opportunities for creative expression.
Music therapy can offer support for legacy work for those at the end of life. Examples of this would be:
facilitated songwriting as a processing tool and a project that reaches beyond the client’s own world to find a voice for their journey
Telling your story inspired by musical soundtracks from your life
Passing on your ‘legacy tracks’ of music to the next generation and how they have shaped your life
Music therapy sessions can offer facilitation to follow your creative journey. They can provide a moment of relief during your week to express yourself in song, in music-making, in reminiscence. They can also provide opportunities to invite family or friends to join together in a shared experience. We can also facilitate a music ritual for saying goodbye to those at the time of passing, inviting a shared experience for both the dying and the bereaved.
“All these songs were locked up inside of me for so long and I never dreamed I would find someone who could help me get them out. My daughter couldn’t believe it. Thank you so much!”
- Joyce, a hospice patient
“[The music process] just happened, and I came out feeling so different. I had got all those feelings out of me. I felt so much better and so proud that I had done that. It was a real turning point for me – I’ve felt so much better since then.”
- Su, a patient facing end of life
“We’ve always both enjoyed music, but I didn’t realise that the sound of music and songs would bring his memory back. He can remember all the words...it’s been a wonderful discovery!”
- Julie, a wife caring for her husband with dementia