Local musicians bring joy to young patients


AUSTIN (KXAN) — St. David’s Children’s Hospital is helping patients heal with the power of music.

The north Austin hospital partnered with MyMusicRx, to bring local Austin musicians to the hospital and play for children.  The volunteers are all specially trained to learn music medicine techniques, depending on a child’s mood and needs.

“Our specialists play music, the often will even teach lessons,” said Abby Guyer, vice president of brand for Children’s Cancer Association, “and the notion is that kids get to be in charge of the interaction. so we like to say its kid-prescribed rather than doctor-prescribed.”

The musicians will even take the opportunity to teach the children some basic music skills.  A cart will travel around with them, filled with different music makers including shakers, drum sticks and a guitar. 

Robyn Moyer, a child life specialist said, “It will just change the whole dynamic in the room and just kind of lighten everything up.”  

The musicians will both play bedside, and in the children’s emergency room waiting room, which can be stressful place for both parents and children.  Guyer said “Even if it is just for a few moments, to give them a sense of well-being and calm then we’ve succeeded.”

St. David’s North Austin Medical Center will be the first in Texas to have such a program. “I think that with Austin being the live music capital of the world,” said Misty Rowlinson Director of St. David’s Children’s hospital, “it’s very fitting to bring this program to our hospital.”

The program will be in place for at least two years, but organizers hope it sticks around longer.  Musicians will be at the hospital weekly.

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