Sunday, July 21, 2013

Music Soothes the Loving Heart

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Music Soothes the Loving Heart
For most of us, memories of when we were young always include a certain song sung by a certain special someone. That song resonates with us, and will forever. That particular song reminds us of calm, peace, serenity, comfort and security. It’s no secret that music can create its very own atmosphere. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find live music easing its way into NICUs across the country.

The American Music Therapy Association lists many reasons for having music in the NICU. There are the obvious reasons, such as: Music can mask all the ambient noise in the NICU environment that all NICU parents know so well. Music can enhance the NICU environment for personnel and keep the NICU nurses more stress-free.

Then there are the not-so-obvious reasons:
  • Music pacifies the infant and positively effects oxygen saturation levels, heart rate, and respiration rate.
  • Music therapy can reduce length of NICU stay with preemies.
  • Music facilitates neurological growth and development.
  • Music re-enforces feeding/sucking rhythms.
  • Music can promote a sense of safety during painful procedures.
  • Music can promote a longer period of sleeping for the infant.

Many hospitals have volunteers playing guitar and singing to the baby while the caregiver holds the baby (when possible). However, suggests waiting until the baby is ready for music therapy to be sure the baby is not over stimulated.

Music therapy is not just for the baby, it’s also for the caregivers.

One mother turned her NICU stay into something wonderful for other NICU families. She decided while in the NICU with her son (born 6 weeks premature) to use her gift of voice to start Healing Music Circles. She says “A Healing Music Circle creates a space where you can find a bit of peace wherever you are and be part of a community that is going through the same experience…When going through traumatic times, we often close our hearts because of our sadness, anger or overwhelm.” Amy wants to aid families through the NICU experience. Currently she has Healing Music Circles for those in the NICU, and Healing Music Circles for the loss of a child:


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