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Healing Music and the Cancer Patient

June 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Genres of healing music, Music and Cancer

I’ve worked with lots of different types of patients over the past 23 years, but today I had one of the most touching experiences that I’ve had in a long time.  One of my current patients is experiencing cancer that began 10 years ago as ovarian cancer.  At that time she had chemo and radiation after her surgery and lived cancer-free for 10 years.  About a year ago, after some major life crises, she suffered a relapse of the cancer which was found in her lungs and now her brain.

I met her a couple of months ago when she was actually referred to me as a piano student!  This dear lady, age 74, and I have really connected around music, but today was something special!  She is having the 4th chemo session tomorrow and was just feeling so bad today that she asked me to stop by and play something for her on her beautiful Steinway grand piano.  I was able to do this and as she lay in her bed in the room next to the piano, I played J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier http://youtu.be/hL0RZiVT5T0.  This is a beautiful, serene piece that she plays very well, herself, but today she was just too weak to even sit at the piano. 

After that she asked me to play her favorite popular song “Fly Me to the Moon.”  When I went back to her room, she was lying across the bed and her face was wet with tears.  I said “Gosh, was it that bad?!”  She said “Alice, that was the most beautiful experience I have had since my diagnosis.  Those two pieces bring back so many beautiful experiences in my life and remind me that I have had a fantastic life, up until this illness.”  Of course, nothing could have made me happier as this is exactly what I want to be able to give people.  If I could make my living just playing for people who are hurting and in pain, physically, spiritually or emotionally, I would love to do that.

Please do not underestimate the power of music to heal pain of all kinds.  Music is powerful and healing!


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