Sunday, 15 March 2020

Dove music therapy program brings joy to the dying

I would love to share this as it was very informative, and close to what I do day to day around the hospital wards!

Wayne Miles has not got the energy to open his eyes, but a faint smile flickers across his face as he silently mouths the words to the John Denver song Some Days Are Diamonds.
The 59-year-old Glasshouse Mountains man is dying from cancer, and amid the pain and grief music provides solace.
The former truck driver's love for country music is being nurtured by music therapist Tracie Wicks.
She sits with him at his bedside, strumming a guitar or playing the keyboard, and crooning Slim Dusty and John Denver songs that fill the dedicated music room in the Dove Palliative Care wing of the Caloundra Hospital.
The Dove music therapy program is funded by community donations to Sunshine Coast Hospital Foundation, Wishlist, and has been operating at the hospital since 2016.
Ms Wicks wheels a piano keyboard and guitar bed-to-bed, but a new music room that opened this year she says has added to the patients' experience.
"It's created a beautiful space for families and patients to come," she said.
"Having a space away from the hospital room, which is very clinical and has lots of equipment, to a space that feels homely and comfortable allows people to settle in and enjoy music therapy."
As his cancer progresses, Wayne has participated in music therapy on each admission to Dove over the past year, and Ms Wicks has learned his musical tastes.
"In particular he enjoys John Denver, so I played Some Days Are Diamonds — which is very relatable in this situation," she said.
"The other song I played today was Lights on the Hill [by Slim Dusty] which Wayne relates to through his days as a truck driver."
Ms Wicks will have a go at any genre of music a patient requests — from ABBA's Dancing Queen to a Wiggles tune for a young family member.
She has also been asked to belt out Eminem and AC/DC.
"When I work with a patient it's really important to find out what music is meaningful to them," she said.
"I can't say I was that good at rapping Eminem though," she laughed.

Bringing back memories

While listening to music helps patients on a physiological level — reducing the perception of pain and feelings of anxiety by reducing heart rate and stress levels — its impact on an emotional level is profound in a palliative care scenario, Ms Wicks said.
"We know that music is very strongly linked to our memory centre, bringing back memories from our life, and that is often very important for people facing the end of their life," she said.
"To sit back and review your life and think about your achievements and milestones and talk about the people you love.
"For Wayne, relating to songs is a way of expressing himself, telling his story."
With her help, Wayne wrote the lyrics to a love song for his wife, Cheryl, titled You Were Meant For Me.
"[The song] expressed their love story and in that he also gave thanks to her for caring for him throughout the past few years, particularly after his diagnosis," Ms Wicks said.
"The last verse he wrote was about saying goodbye and his wishes and hopes for her.
"Wayne actually sang the song himself and we recorded it and were able to gift that to Cheryl — something that becomes a legacy that Wayne is very proud of."

'Having some joy'

For the families of patients in the palliative care wing, music therapy is just as meaningful.
"Sometimes it's just about lifting the mood in the room," Ms Wicks said.
"Families want to come together and they don't want to have medical conversations. They actually want to have joy and to celebrate being together.
"Often in a session there may be five or more people and people may request songs that they remember together.
"So you are creating new positive memories, and when they look back to this very difficult time in their life hopefully they can remember some of these moments of actually having joy —of sitting around singing or listening to music together."

Extracted from:

Prayer for a Pandemic (author unknown)

Prayer for a Pandemic (author unknown)
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close,
Remember those who have no options.
May we who cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.
During this time when we can not physically wrap our arms around one another,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Happy 79th birthday to my wonderful client

Happy 79th birthday to my wonderful client
You've amazed me in so many ways -
When you're anxious at times, it goes away in a few seconds when you start touching the piano...
You'll never resist music, you always welcome music in any form, instrument, singing or so
You're even learning new songs every time we meet!
You could even hum a tune after a split second of the music playing ....
And your commitment to join every single concert you can ...
Now you've completed a book of all the songs you enjoy singing and playing, what a wonderful achievement!
It's a joy and pleasure to be able to make music with you, keeping music alive!!
Music therapy can assist with memory, relaxation, behavior, anda lot more, see :

Monday, 13 November 2017


Joy Of Happiness


我們是次工作坊的主題是"快樂"。我們先聽過與快樂相關的歌曲,也彼此分享。在創作當中- 我們分享到甚麼事情會讓我們覺得"快樂"。討論期間病人分享能享受一息空氣,清晨陽光的美麗已是"快樂",有義工分享和家人相聚的珍貴。。。奇怪的是,許多參與者不約而同的認為最快樂就是透過康恩認識主耶穌,這是好得無比的禮物。其他病人不單未有反感,反而問及主耶穌和信仰的問題。。。他們說道,我們豈不都有從神而來的"喜樂"嗎? 我們擁有的"快樂"已超越快樂,成為永恆的"喜樂"了!




病人和義工們借此詩歌告(訴)大家他們最珍貴的禮物- 天父主耶穌- 盼望你也能明白他們的心聲。


Hanna Tsoi



Its been quite a few years since I've started my work at Oncology and palliative care alongside with other work. I could still remember the calling of working in this field during my masters study, with the voice saying, "be with them, it will be much needed". I simply followed it and never expected it to be such an amazing journey.

It has never been easy. Yes, the work is not just about rainbows and butterflies. Singing and playing music at bedside with the patients and families, or having time together was just an intervention. From seeing patients at home to being at hospital, there were many moments that I recall families with desperate faces, in need of support right in the moment. After work at my volunteer work CanCare, there were many urgent moments of people calling and seeking for help...

Nevertheless, in hopelessness and desperation, it is very rewarding to be a company. To walk together. It is most rewarding seeing families recall the moments- yet still rejoicing in the time of suffering. There were numerous families expressing the need of support with those few lines of music. It is most important seeing families grasping what's important, remembering and believing. I myself have also been moved by music as an expression.

With the circumstances I've been through, It really reminds me how to truly walk in light. How to make your life count. How to truly live a life that He lives. Do things that matters to you. Live every moment well.
Thanks my great's been a year. It was one of the toughest years I've been through... seeing you go through so many treatments. However, you've taught me so much and I'll continue to remember the way you have walked the tough journey. You were so strong in faith despite of the circumstances. You had such positivity and joy. Most importantly, you consider others' faith and eternity more than anything else. We will continue the way you loved others. Words cannot express more, but I love you so much 
Even though it's a tough journey, it has been a very rewarding life journey. I cannot thank more of my families and friends, as well as the very special someone walking alongside with me.

"I will rejoice. In every season
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship."
- Desert Song

May music continue to speak the melody of life for many.
Keep rejoicing. 2017 
Many blessings ahead.

Mental Health and Music Therapy

Dear all,

It's been a while! I just want to note the benefits of music therapy and mental health!
Music is essential for mental health , knowing music is accessible anytime, anywhere.
It could connect souls and minds at mind for many times.

- Australian Music Therapy association

Please have a look below for more information: