Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Music Is Medicine

No, the title is not a cliche.  It's the name of a fabulous organization founded by the daughters of one of my colleagues here at Johns Hopkins.  Leora and Ariella are musicians themselves, and they firmly believe that music can truly help in the healing process.  Founded when the girls were still teenagers, Music is Medicine is now an organization with national reach.  Quite a feat for two sisters from Baltimore.

Last year, I wrote about a visit one of my patients had from Drew Seeley, her favorite singer.  He wrote her a song, and I'll never forget the look on her face when he showed up in her hospital room to sing it for her.

Yesterday, lightning struck twice, when my patient, Bo, received a visit from Savannah Outen, who flew to Baltimore to serenade him with a song she wrote just for him.

 Bo is a musician himself.  In fact, I've seen him play at a fundraiser to help raise money to cover some of his medical costs.

So after Savannah played, Bo picked up the guitar, and in a truly priceless moment, played for her as she sang his requests.  Her version of Landslide (performed here by Fleetwood Mac and here by Smashing Pumpkins) was absolutely beautiful.  Moments like this, unscripted and real, remind me of all that is good in people.

I was there to hear the music, but Bo and his family had a surprise for me, too.  A framed picture of me and Bo... in one of my... uh... better moments in clinic.  Yes, that's me, hard at work curing cancer!

The song Savannah wrote and sang for Bo, "Brave and True," will be available soon on iTunes.  If you can't wait that long, check out this song to hear what a beautiful voice she has.

Related Posts:
Music Can Heal
Fishing, and the Kindness of Strangers
A Musical Wish


Jodi Knapp said...

Not only does she have a beautiful voice, the song has been a favorite of mine for a while. Music allows you many moods; it seems a no-brainer that it helps with healing. Nice blog, thanks.

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I agree to that music is medicine. Its a great relaxation, helps for
cancer treatment. Song is very beautiful, she does have a beautiful voice. Thanks for sharing informative post.

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Music is the best medicine. Sometimes the most difficult journey can be made easier with music. It opens your eyes to the beauty in the world and give you strength when you need it.

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definitely true, music can help heal illness. Insurance blog

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Even the ancients recognized the impact that music had on human psychology. In the right setting, the effect that it can have on the emotional state of a person is astounding. If you believe that emotion plays any role in the healing process, the natural conclusion seems that music has an important role to play.

Julia Mathew said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Part of what makes music such a wonderful prescription is that it can be a great mental health tool across the board. The right song can change your attitude which goes a long way to fighting illness and disease. I love what their organization stands for.

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Charles Brawnyson said...

I think music can play a huge part in the healing process. I'm not sure why, but it's clear that our mental state plays a huge role in how easily we heal. I would have to check with my doctor to see if he agrees, but it makes sense to me. http://www.pedsalex.com/pediatric-services.php

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Even if it's the perfect song after a bad break-up, or something else relaxing to listen to while studying or puttering, most of us have felt music's power to make our mind and souls feel much better. Recently scientific findings from a wide array of research explains why both playing and listening to music can have serious health benefits for our whole body - effects like reducing feelings of physical pain, boosting memory, protecting hearing and heart health.

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Megan Jones said...

Music is such a powerful thing that connects us all. I have never seen a doctor outside of the medical building before. I wonder if I would even recognize them? If they were wearing scrubs it might help with identification a bit.