Music To Everyone's Ears

Mar 17, 2016 | News

Many thanks to all who came by the Music Therapy open house for coffee and snacks, and to try out a few instruments! 

The event was timed with Music Therapy Awareness Month, and also doubled as a celebration of the return of music therapy to the St. Paul’s Inpatient Mental Health Program after a long absence. We hope the information provided will help shed some light on the impact music therapy can have for the patients of our hospital. 

Patients of the Mental Health Program have connected positively to music therapy, sharing some of the following feelings about their experience:  

  • “When making music and singing, I don’t hear the negative voices.”
  • “For an hour of our music group, I didn’t feel the pain.”
  • “Small musical tasks help me to concentrate.”
  • “It’s easier to focus on singing than all of the thoughts going around in my head.”
  • “In music group, I feel better after I’m able to release my emotions –  tears of happiness and sadness.”

Starting in January 2016, the Mental Health Program has also expanded music therapy to include a pilot program in the Eating Disorders Program until March 30, 2016.

Congratulations to our prize winners, whose names were entered into a random draw for successfully completing our music therapy quiz.

  • Ukulele Package, Tom Lee Music: Fariba, SDC (Surgical Day Care)
  • Micro Cube GX amplifier, Roland Canada: Michelle, 10C

Lastly, we would like to extend a heartfelt thankful to the team who supported this event:

  • Jennifer Duff, Director of Mental Health
  • Blaine Bray, Operations Leader of Mental Health
  • Peter Keyes, administrative assistant, Mental Health
  • Jessica Hainstock, communications
  • Danilyn Graham, graphic design
  • Providence’s Music Therapists, led by Leah Rosling, Professional Practice Leader for Music Therapy
  • Capilano University Students and Interns
  • Roland Canada
  • Tom Lee Music
  • Music Therapy Association of BC (MTABC)
  • Music Heals

Caption: The Music Therapy team, with support from Jen Duff, director, Mental Health, lead the ELF group in a drumming circle for their opening Reflection on March 11. The drumming experience was well received by all in attendance, and an energizing way to start the day!

Care Experience


I believe music therapy makes such a difference. I work with students with special needs: some non-verbal, some challenged by mobility, others by physical health. Of course, even if mental health wasn't their first diagnosis, it certainly is an aspect of their health that requires constant care and support. Occasionally we have a parent who understands how to access funding and hires a music therapist for their child, and the difference in the student's outlook and progress is remarkable. Once, we were blessed to have a parent ask if they could have music therapy sessions in the school, so other students with special needs could participate with their daughter, as it would help both her social skills and her communication, and of course make her feel happy! That was such a great program, and the students counted the days to their sessions and eagerly participated. The bonding and turn-taking, the social chatter, the alertness in their eyes, their smiles: it was easy to see how beneficial it was. Now, of course, in public schools music therapy is not usually available. It's really a shame. Students love it, and the feeling it gives to the staff working with them is also really valuable. Music makes the day, and sometimes saves it!

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