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Sutter Davis Hospital Brings Music to Patients’ Ears with Launch of Music Therapy

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Sutter Davis Hospital | 0 comments

DAVIS – Barbara Smaystryla came to Sutter Medical Foundation’s infusion center on Monday and got a lot more than she intended: She was introduced to the Hapi drum, enjoyed listening to one of Sutter Davis Hospital’s music therapists sing her favorite tune and learned useful breathing exercises.

Barbara Smaystrla, right, learns to play the Hapi drum from Tara McConnell, music therapist, at Sutter Medical Foundation's Infusion Center, on Monday. Sutter Davis Hospital launched its new music therapy program recently.

Barbara Smaystrla, right, learns to play the Hapi drum from Tara McConnell, music therapist, at Sutter Medical Foundation’s Infusion Center, on Monday. Sutter Davis Hospital launched its new music therapy program recently.

Tara McConnell, owner of McConnell Music Therapy Services, and Daniel Beseda, a music therapist with the company, helped debut the music therapy program at Sutter Davis Hospital on Monday.

McConnell Music Therapy Services partners with Sutter Health to provide music therapy services in several of its facilities, including Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento. Daniel spends most of his week working with pediatric and adult patients at the Sacramento campus.

McConnell was fortunate to have a very eager patient to sit with in Davis – Smaystryla was interested to learn what music therapy was all about.

“We have been eagerly anticipating the launch of this program. I’ve seen the instant impact that music therapy has on not only our patients, but on our staff as well,” said Jennifer Maher, CEO, Sutter Davis Hospital. “An infusion center is typically a quiet, healing environment, but today, it was transformed into a healing space of a different kind.”

McConnell took Smaystryla through some breathing exercises to start their session. While her patient learned the Hapi drum, McConnell sang “You Are My Sunshine” and played the guitar. By the end of the 30-minute session, the two were laughing quietly – not a sound one typically hears in a hospital environment.

“This is great,” said Barbara. “She’s a great singer.”

Music therapists use a variety of techniques that have been proven effective in helping patients of all ages and diagnoses reach a wide range of goals. Activities and techniques include listening to live music, songwriting, singing, live music making and improvisation, song lyric analysis and guided relaxation.

Beseda will be at Sutter Medical Foundation’s infusion center one day a week. The program will look to expand to the inpatient units of the hospital in 2017.

Sutter Davis Hospital is thankful for its generous philanthropic donors for making music therapy a reality. Patients, staff and the community will benefit from this service and truly bring music to their ears!

If you are interested in helping grow the music therapy program at Sutter Medical Foundation and Sutter Davis Hospital, visit the hospital’s philanthropy website to learn more: http://www.sutterdavis.org/philanthropy/.

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Sutter Davis Hospital | 0 comments