Thanks to the fundraising endeavours from the Australian Stockbrokers Foundation (ASF), we have been running a music therapy program for the last 5 years in Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.
Music therapy has many benefits:
- Assists with pain relief
- Alleviates boredom
- Gives hope and solace at a time when there is very little
- Develops motor skills
- Assists with rehabilitation
- Develops creativity
- Allows children and their families an opportunity to laugh and experience the magic of music at a very different time in their lives.
This program brings joy, comfort and happiness to children and their families at a time when young people may be facing long rehabilitation programs or life threatening illnesses.
This program reinforces the healing powers of music to brighten the lives of children and youth who are battling serious and often life threatening illnesses. Cut off from the ability to conduct life as normal, these children and youth are able to participate in music programs which offer them an escape and the ability to engage in creative and empowering exercises they may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. This program is currently being conducted by ACMF Music Therapist and teacher, Matt Ralph, who has made an enormous contribution to the program.
Celebrating each child and their unique perspective is an important part of Music Therapy. Matt runs regular groups with Mental Health patients, on the Neurology and Orthopaedic ward, and runs a monthly session at the Palliative Care Play Clinic. In addition, the program works closely with renal transplant patients and with the hospital’s rehabilitation team helping children meet specific goals as part of their rehabilitation program after serious accidents and illness.
Often children and young people have started learning an instrument prior to becoming ill, and our Music Therapy program allows us to assist children to develop these skills. However, the greatest impact is seen with children who have never viewed music as “their thing”, and who have lost the capacity to participate in sports and other activities as a result of illness and injury. The ACMF works with these patients to find their inner musician – many have gone on to learn instruments, compose songs and create music videos.