An Australian musician using a traditional wind instrument didgeridoo as a therapy to help pediatric patients in the hospital experience spiritual healing, serenity and relaxation. This music therapy is being tested at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children in Canberra.
The sound of a traditional Australian wind instrument replaces the hum of hospital machines.
Cooper, 14, has been in hospital for several weeks after a car accident that left him with a broken hip and leg.
To his parents, those weeks seemed like never ending. Rob, Cooper’s father said, “It took a while, more than a month to see a smile again. So every time we saw him smile, it was so much fun.”
After attending the didgeridoo listening session, Cooper said, “It’s amazing, I really enjoyed listening to it.”
The vibrations of the didgeridoo will fill the children’s ward in the coming months. Roy Peterson, the didgeridoo player, said, “For me, it heals me. It heals me to heal other people.”
The idea for providing this musical session came from Tina Bracher, the former president of the hospital, with a little help from the Canberra hospital foundation.
Bracher said, “The game didgeridoo the calm and gentle way as we walk past terminally ill patients and anxious family members, greatly reassuring the families. “
He believes that music can make people feel comfortable even in a sterile environment.
Bonnie McConnell, from the Australian National University’s Department of Music, said, “The sound of the machines in the hospital, the people in the hospital, makes us feel nervous, can cause stress, and can actually slow down the recovery process.”
The sound of the didgeridoo might suit one person, but other patients may recover from other music, such as rap. The key is to help patients feel connected to others and to distract themselves.
Bonnie McConnell adds, “Music can divert us from negative feelings to positive feelings.”
The sound of the didgeridoo is a joy to Cooper, who can smile even though the healing process is still long. Cooper said, he will probably always remember this instrument.
For some, the didgeridoo is simply a musical instrument, while for others, it is a pleasant recovery sound. [lj/uh]