Music Therapy Zooming

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Music Therapy zooms through to residents at Mount St. Mary

In spite of the upheaval and uncertainty during these times of Covid-19, bright spots are shining through the darkness. With a grant from the Victoria Foundation, Times Colonist Christmas Fund, and the Jawl Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund, Mount St. Mary Hospital was able purchase iPads for residents to use.

We are grateful for this incredible gift which allows residents to connect with their families and friends as well as Allan Slade, one of our music therapists. Allan was inspired to utilize video-conferencing to continue to connect with some MSMH residents who were involved in this program on-site. The residents were ready, so Allan ramped up his tech skills and organized his studio.

One resident routinely enjoys close contact with family and friends throughout the week. Having previously established her repertoire, Allan selected some solid songs he felt would work with this medium. The resident was able to connect on-line and joined with Allan in song. It was a joyous occasion!

Another resident was preparing for his performance at Mount St. Mary’s annual Spring Fair when the world changed. With a high level of comfort using a computer, he was able to continue to practice the lines and parts of their ‘80’s Review’ program in preparation for the next opportunity to perform when things open up.

Online music therapy was also very effective for Mike, a resident who is very engaged in song-writing. With his eloquent lyrics and access to Allan and the technology available to them in his studio, they were able to team up to produce beautiful songs.

Mike describes his experience…”We are all getting older and all residents making this transition are looking for an opportunity to express our individual experience with this. As a writer I’m always looking for ways to express this but I don’t get much of a chance to do that. Early on at the start of the Covid-19, I was feeling cooped up with no opportunity to relate to people outside and Allan called me and offered the Zoom connection. It was an opportunity to stay connected to the outside world and to continue to explore what getting older means for me and those around me. With Allan’s abilities and the Zoom connection, we were able to do that with words and music which was a phenomenal combination.”

Each of these experiences is as unique as the individuals themselves. Allan is pleased to have engaged this medium which will serve to enhance his work with our residents in future, particularly in the area of song writing. And, we remain thankful for the support of the Rapid Relief Fund and the others who made a donation to keep our residents connected.