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May 2013

Musicians Beverly and Skip Tinnell

Music / May 31, 2013

Beverly and Skip Tinnell are RN’s working with Trauma and Stroke programs throughout Colorado. They also love to share their music with others through two local bands called Duo’ver and Circling the Drain. Soul’s Palette is thankful to have them playing music for patients in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

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Arts in Pediatrics

Visual Arts / May 31, 2013

We love introducing many different art forms in pediatrics, through one-on-one interactions, and group activities. Art is a powerful tool for self expression and coping with illness!



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Rememberance Tree

Visual Arts / May 31, 2013

The Colorado Blood Cancer Institute Memorial Service was held on May 16th in commemoration of the patients who passed away this year. Healing Arts was asked to be present at the ceremony, to make a piece of artwork with family members in remembrance of their loved ones. We made a remembrance tree and invited everyone to write or draw on a leaf. To remember the smiles, the laughter, and the moments that brought them the greatest joy; to remember their strength and loving spirit.

Life is all about how you handle Plan B. you handled it with such grace… Your strength was amazing! You never, never, never gave up… What an honor to walk the path of life with you…

Thank you for sharing your memories with us!

–Jill Popp




Dirge without Music

Writing / May 30, 2013

The Colorado Blood Cancer Institute Memorial Service was held on May 16th in commemoration of the patients who passed away this year.

Kelly Rose, a Registered Nurse who works in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Read this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay at the ceremony.

Dirge without Music

Edna St. Vincent Millay


-I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:

Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned

With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

-Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.

Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.

A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,

A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

-The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,

They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled

Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

-Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Music’s benefits for hospital patients

Music / May 23, 2013

Written by Kathleen Marsh, music volunteer

As a music volunteer at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and also a recent music therapy graduate, I am always searching the internet for articles and videos about using music in healthcare settings.  This week in particular, several articles have literally fallen into my lap.  This week, several newspapers published articles raving about the benefits of patients utilizing music during their hospital stay.  They brought music therapy into the spotlight once again, but also offer very practical ideas for patients who might be looking for ways to decrease pain, emotionally cope with difficult diagnoses, or reflect on their own lives.

Below I’ve included links for full versions of these articles and some older articles as well as excerpts from the articles themselves.  For pediatric and adult patients, the bottom line is: engaging with live or recorded music, especially one’s favorite music, can have many benefits, including decreasing anxiety and pain levels while fostering relaxation and other physiological benefits.  Music can serve as a powerful coping mechanism as well.


From the New York Times, April 15, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/health/live-music-soothes-premature-babies-a-new-study-finds.html?_r=0

Live Music’s Charms, Soothing Premature Hearts

Even the Beatles would have had trouble recognizing their peppy song in the lullaby that Andrea Zalkin sang to the tiny, fragile baby clutched to her chest in the neonatal unit. But there was something unintentionally poignant in the title she chose for her son: “Eight Days a Week” is more time than can fit on the calendar. Ms. Zalkin’s baby, Hudson, born 13 weeks early, has had too little time.

As she sang, monitors showed Hudson’s heartbeat slowing and his oxygen saturation increasing. Effects like that were among the findings of a new study on the use of music as medicine.


From Health Day News for Healthier Living, May 20, 2013 http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=676579

Favorite Music May Ease Anxiety in ICU Patients

MONDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) — Music can help soothe the fear and anxiety of critically ill patients who have been placed on ventilators, reducing both their stress and their need for sedatives, according to a new study.

Intensive care unit (ICU) patients allowed to listen to music of their choice whenever they liked enjoyed a 36 percent reduction in their anxiety levels compared to patients not offered music, researchers found.

The ICU patients who were provided music also needed less sedation, with their sedative intake dropping 38 percent compared to other patients, the findings showed.

From the Orange County Register, November 15, 2010 http://www.ocregister.com/articles/jacob-276079-andrea-steve.html

A Jam Session at the Deathbed

The bluesy bedside jam session started when Jacob Switzer, 13, took his guitar into his dying father’s bedroom and joined two music therapists who were there to help ease his pain.

Sunlight trickled in through the shut blinds in the dim bedroom as Steve Switzer, 53, groaned and asked his wife for more pain medication.

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He had liver cancer. A few days before, he enrolled in Seasons Hospice because there was nothing more the doctors could do. He had days left to live.

Andrea Scheve, a 32 year-old music therapist, sat on the floor, strummed her guitar and improvised the “Stomach Ache Blues” to help distract him from the pain. Jacob sat on the foot of the bed.

Inspired by the blues, Steve lifted his oxygen tube from his nose and off his face. He disconnected himself from the morphine pump and climbed out of bed.

“What are you doing?” his wife Jennifer Switzer, 46, asked. She was startled, shocked. He hadn’t been out of bed in days.

“Getting something,” Steve said.

Steve returned with a bag of harmonicas.



From the Tennessean, May 8, 2013 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130509/LIFE01/305090039/Music-comes-out-misery?nclick_check=1

Musicians help young Vanderbilt patients tell their stories on new CD

In the final days of his life, Christopher Weber sat up in his hospital bed and danced to Lil Wayne.

A teenager who wore saggy pants and loved rap, Weber never let his cystic fibrosis define him.

But it did inspire him.


And not in the way he expected.

This boy — who was hard-core hip hop — became a country composer.

Through the music therapy program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Weber learned to play guitar and tell stories with the strum of his strings. He wrote songs that helped him with personal expression. He wrote songs that helped him cope.

He was fighting the odds against his cystic fibrosis. Music made him forget that for a moment.


The Cabin Project

Organization / May 18, 2013

The Cabin Project

Partnering with the community to extend the expe­ri­ence of arts and well­ness to those families that have had cancer touch their lives. The mountain wellness center project is underway.