A Founder’s Testimonial: #musicISsocial
Content by Dr. Raffi Tachdjian.
Children’s Music Fund (CMF) aims at promoting the benefits of music therapy, to show how musical treatment can help reach wellness goals. The following is one example of music therapy in action, from the perspective of our Founder & President, Dr. Raffi Tachdjian. He shares a powerful experience he had with one of his teenaged patients, Anna, that all started with an electric guitar.
“A little over 2 years ago we received news from the Kaiser Woodland Hills hospital about a teenager who was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer. She was 17 and had osteosarcoma of the right leg. Through her care team she had requested an electric blue guitar after finding out that music therapy can help kids with severe and chronic illnesses.
“Upon receiving this request, Children’s Music Fund set out to purchase the guitar per her specific request. When we then found out that she would undergo total amputation of her right hip and leg, we also provided for music therapy in order to cope with the trauma, anxiety, and pain that understandably accompany amputation and post-traumatic stress such as this one.
“Heroically, her mother called us the day of one of our fundraisers and asked if she and her child could attend the benefit. The concert included a performance by Lisa Harriton, who used to be the keyboardist for the band Smashing Pumpkins, We asked Lisa to dedicate a piece to this patient, which she gladly accepted. Immediately after that performance, both Lisa and our patient said “I love you” in sign language. Lisa then asked the patient to join her on the stage, which made the child and the musicians cry in that moment of joy and humility.
“A year later, this patient reached out to me, and asked if she could be the one to give the speech about Children’s Music Fund at the annual fundraiser event. This event was held at the home of Michael Boddicker, the world renowned keyboardist who arranged for disability access for this event. When the time came, the patient got up in from of the crowd, with one hand on the microphone, and the other grasping her right crutch. She went on to explain how a year ago, she was extremely scared and sad about losing her leg. Now a year later, her guitar is what she leans on during painful and sad times, and the music therapy is what helps her overcome the negative effects with guided imagery, courage and health.”
Music therapy is a valuable practice in helping to build healthy individuals and communities, all through the power of musical performance and expression. Anna experienced the soothing effects of music therapy first hand, and it all started by creating social & cultural bonds through music. Share with us some of the ways that music heals in your community. Use the hashtag #musicISsocial, and tag us @theCMForg.