Augsburg College music therapy students created original compositions to help patients and families at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital get better sleep, and MinnPost recently featured the students’ collaborative endeavor.
During the 2016 spring semester, students in the Music Therapy Senior Seminar course taught by Annie Heiderscheit, director of the Master of Music Therapy program, wrote lullabies as part of a community partnership.
The music therapy students worked with music business students and their advisor, Augsburg Instructor Dain Estes, to produce high-quality recordings for use on the hospital’s network of digital, interactive health care features. Individuals can choose to play the calming tunes using devices in their hospital rooms. The Auggies’ compositions also are part of a pilot study that is exploring whether listening to music helps improve sleep quality in patients and families who use it in the pediatric intensive care unit.
“We had to spend time talking about how we use music for sleep and styles of music and specific elements within the music that we really need to leverage to help young patients fall asleep,” Heiderscheit explained to MinnPost.
Next the students began creating their original pieces, which was a complicated task, according to Estes, because the compositions included substantial tempo reductions to guide listeners into a relaxed state.
“This was an extremely difficult assignment because of how the heartbeat works,” Estes said. “Starting every song at 120 beats per minute and bringing it down to 40 beats per minute is not as easy as it sounds.”
The Hudson Star-Observer, a newspaper in Hudson, Wis., recently interviewed Augsburg College student and choir member McKenna Selissen ’18 about her experience performing with the Augsburg Choir as they joined Barry Manilow at the Xcel Energy Center.
“It was unbelievable to share the stage with someone so well respected and well known in the music world,” Selissen said. “I am amazed how many hit songs he’s had and with all the commercial jingles he’s wrote; he is extremely talented.”
The students who performed with Manilow were each given a pair of complimentary tickets to the concert. Selissen, a music therapy major, happily gifted her tickets to two of her clients. One of the clients uses Manilow’s music extensively in his therapy sessions.
“He knows every song and all the words so it was such a coincidence when we were asked to do this. This client was beyond excited to not only go to his first concert, but to see his very favorite singer,” Selissen said.
The Star Tribune recently published an article about Crescent Cove, a St. Louis Park nonprofit founded by Katie Lindenfelser ’02 that next year seeks to begin construction on a hospice home, a care facility that specializes in lessening the suffering of dying patients. The article details the many challenges faced by the families of terminally ill children and the lack of resources available to them.
Currently, there are only two facilities in the U.S. that specialize in end-of-life care for children. In the article, Lindenfelser attributes this to the discomfort people feel toward the idea of terminally ill children. “In our culture there’s a lot more satisfaction in funding research for a cure,” she says.
In addition to caring for the patients, facilities such as the one Crescent Cove intends to build offer much-needed respite for the parents and families of the children. Caring for these children is often a taxing, 24/7 job that can take precedence over the parenting role. The article quotes one parent of an ill child as saying, “In those precious last moments, I’d like to stop being the lead nurse, doctor, therapist and just go back to being Mom.”
Augsburg College alumna and music therapist Sandi Holten ’82 was featured on MPR News in a special piece for Minnesota Sounds & Voices. As a kid, Holten dropped out of piano lessons believing that music wasn’t going to play a large part in her life, but today she uses music to strengthen muscles and spirits for many people living with Parkinson’s in the Twin Cities.
Music therapy alums, their families, and friends gathered last weekend at a luncheon and presentation to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Augsburg’s program. They heard Dr. Timothy Culbert, medical director of Integrative Medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota discuss “Exploration of Integrative Health Care Using Music.” Dr. Clive Robbins, known as the “father of music therapy,” was the guest of honor. Children at the celebration enjoyed hands-on exploration of a music instrument. Continue reading “Music therapy celebrates 35 years at Augsburg”→
While internships in most majors give students a competitive edge, in music therapy they are required and rigorous. Every music therapy student must log 1,040 hours during an internship — six months at full time.
In April Christi Schmit began her internship at University Hospitals, Case Medical Campus, in Cleveland, Ohio. This 950-bed hospital gives her broad experience in varying situations to help develop her music therapy skills. She explains that as a therapeutic intervention, music therapy has been found effective in relaxation and pain management, and in treating chemical dependency and memory loss. Continue reading “Music as medicine”→
A benefit concert to fund a new Music Therapy mentor/student program, which supports students with brain injuries through music and movement, will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, from 3-4:30p.m. in the Foss Center, 625 22nd Ave. S.
Performers will be The Abdomen, Minnesota Music Academy’s Best Teen Band for 2005.
Admission is free with all donations directly supporting the new mentor/student