My Healing Harmony
As a kid, being hospitalized can be a scary thing. Being in an unfamiliar place without the comforts of home, undergoing surgery, or dealing with pain that is unimaginable to most people is tough. The days can become monotonous, as kids start to feel less and less themselves, and more defined by their illness. Sometimes, kids can’t express their pain or what they are feeling, making it difficult for those around them to understand. Amidst these daily struggles, My Healing Harmony, the music therapy program at Arnold Palmer Hospital, brings hope and healing to patients and families.
What is My Healing Harmony?My Healing Harmony was started two years ago by the Fatone Family Foundation as a way to bring the healing powers of music to patients. After starting their own foundation, the Fatone family was looking for a way to share their love and knowledge of the music industry with kids in need. And what better place to bring hope and joy to kids than at Arnold Palmer Hospital? My Healing Harmony comes to life through music therapist Holly Solis, whose angelic voice brings smiles everywhere she goes. Whether it is comforting a child while going through a procedure or bringing relaxation to a patient’s bedside through peaceful melodies, Holly shares her gift of music to brighten a child’s day.
The benefits of music therapyThere are many ways that kids can benefit from music therapy. Music has been found to promote healing in patients recovering from surgical procedures or battling life-threatening diseases. Therapists are able to use music as way to relate to what kids are going through and help distract them from the pain they are feeling. Music is frequently used as a relaxation method to calm a patient’s anxiety and fear. When Holly makes her daily rounds to patient rooms, she says, “I always look at the vital signs when I walk in to the room and as I am playing a song, because I can see a difference from the time I start to when I finish. It’s a great way to know the patient is relaxed”.
The benefits go beyond just the physical- music therapy helps foster psychological healing as well. Many kids who are admitted to the hospital have a negative outlook on their hospital stay and their condition, but music therapy helps to give them something exciting to look forward to. Patients are given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument or record themselves singing their favorite song while at the hospital. Many patients even write the lyrics to their own song as a way to communicate to others what they are going through. These opportunities help create positive memories of their hospital stay and are something they can cherish and even take home with them.
For Holly, she is reminded every day why she loves being a music therapist. She has been a part of many joyous moments with patients- everything from first smiles, to seeing a patient who has suffered a traumatic brain injury respond for the first time to music, to giving kids a boost in confidence through the gift of music. And the healing doesn’t just come to patients; it comes to parents too.
Kristi Corley recalls how music therapy affected her daughter as she recuperated from brain surgery:
“It was our lifesaver when nothing else would calm her. When we were asked by the Child Life specialist what would comfort Alex, we asked if they had a portable CD player and some Norah Jones or Kari Jobe songs. She came back with something, or should I say, someone far better! Our own mini concert! Alex, who had been having an incredibly tough morning, immediately smiled and her disposition improved. The music spoke directly to her (and my!) heart.”
It is this moment that helps the pain and grief melt away as they live in the moment of healing harmony.
See more about My Healing Harmony and how music therapy brings joy and restoration to the kids at Arnold Palmer Hospital here: