The power of music during cancer treatment


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The music therapy sessions also provided Charlie’s mum with time to play with her son. She said of the experience:

“Charlie spent almost 6 months on the oncology ward and had to endure some extremely traumatic, painful and distressing times as part of his treatment for Leukaemia and the music therapy sessions were literally the highlight of our week. Charlie spent much of his time in isolation due to various infections and so rarely made it to the group sessions. Instead Alison came to his room and delivered a personal session for Charlie. Sometimes he had a lot of pent up frustration that he needed to release on the drums, tambourine and bells whilst bouncing up and down on his bed with delight. On other occasions Charlie would make special requests for Alison to play his favourite Mary Poppins tunes. One occasion that really comes to mind is when Charlie needed sedation for a procedure but due to the various drugs that he was already on, his body was fighting sleep. Alison turned up with her collection of musical instruments and soothed Charlie to sleep with Golden Slumbers and other lullabies. It was simply magical seeing how Charlie responded by drifting off into a peaceful sleep. Other times Charlie was simply very frail and just seeing Alison turn up on the ward brought a huge smile to his face and made his day so much better. The music therapy sessions were an absolutely invaluable part of Charlie’s treatment; soothing and bringing happiness to a very poorly child fighting cancer. Seeing Charlie happy made everyone in the room happy – the music would literally transform our day.”

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