Sara the anorexic patient, instructs the Music therapy choir
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From Community Music Therapy – edited by Mercedes Pavlicevic and Gary Ansdell
The paediatric department of Hospital 1 is proud of its own chamber choir, drawn mainly from members of the medical and nursing staff. The choir has weekly practices in the outpatient ward and performs madrigals, arranged children's songs, carols, etc., three or four times yearly for patients, relatives, and other hospital personnel.
I sometimes collaborate with the hospital choir, and have served as accompanist and deputy conductor. The staff choir has also performed songs written by the young patients:
On one occasion 'Sara', a l4-year-old patient, instructs the 20 choir members to sing her own Spice Girls inspired song (in English): Dance is Something for All Generations. It's only Limited by our Imagination.
The severely anorexic girl shows the singers how to perform the chorus of the song while she receives her liquid 'supper' through a naso-gastric tube! As a composer she is probably much more advanced than any choir member, and for some minutes this rather shy, 'difficult', critically ill and talented girl makes her therapists and carers sing after her pipe.
After the girl's discharge from hospital, the music therapist continues to be the girl's musical discussion partner. The various musical skills she has developed during hospitalisation are not forgotten and, with the music therapist's recommendation, she commences high school in a class for musically talented and interested youths.