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Music for Wellness: a unique healing therapy

Under the expert guidance of accredited music therapist Courtney Radbourne, the music therapy program at the Maplesoft Centre has been a popular draw for cancer survivors and caretakers alike.

Like most health-related therapies, music therapy is about healing. Using music and musical elements, the program helps participants re-connect with themselves and address the various challenges associated with cancer through music. The therapy does not require any musical training and it’s geared to all ages and abilities.

The profession of music therapy was developed in North America during the World Wars. Music was used in Veteran Hospitals to address the injuries and traumas that soldiers suffered during battle. During this time, many health care professionals witnessed the positive effects that music had on veterans’ psychological, physiological, cognitive, and emotional state. Since then, many colleges and universities worldwide have developed music therapy programs to properly train musicians how to use music for therapeutic purposes.  Canada’s Canadian Association for Music Therapy was created in 1977 and promotes excellence in music therapy practice, education, research and development.

Some of the benefits of music therapy include improved awareness, concentration, recall and memory. Music therapy also addresses anxiety, reduces stress, creates opportunities for learning and can even help some individuals to communicate and express themselves better, both verbally and non-verbally.

 Courtney uses many techniques in the workshops, including song writing, lyric discussion, music listening, relaxation, improvisation and music making.

Recently, one of the exciting offerings was how to compose a song from scratch. Local singer songwriters Ana Miura and Amanda Rheaume, founders of the National Benefit Concert “Babes for Breasts”,  graciously donated their talents and resources to help participants record a song in a professional studio.  The song “I Am Here” is available on the Babes for Breasts compilation CD available through their website.

For information about when the program is offered at the Maplesoft Centre and how to register, visit the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Maplesoft Centre website.

For further information about music therapy please visit the Canadian Association for Music Therapy website.

Information about Accredited Music Therapist, Courtney Radbourne, BMT, MTA can be located by visiting her website.                                   

Click here for information about Babes for Breasts or to discover “I Am Here.”

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