Notes against body and soul pain

Teachers at a school in Jaén use music therapy to mitigate patient suffering during chemotherapy sessions

Sounds the Imagine theme of John Lennon at the Jaen Oncology Day Hospital.

A score of patients listen to the guitar, piano and percussion chords by Natalia Garrido, Carmen Martínez and Cristina García and thus briefly relieve their ailments.

The chemotherapy session is undoubtedly much more comforting.

A dozen teachers from the Maestro Cebrián Music School in the capital of Jaén are leading a pioneering experience in the oncology units of Spanish hospitals: environmental music therapy for cancer patients.

During one day a week, these music professionals rotate and walk playing with their instruments through the hospital, first through the rooms of the oncology plant with individualized sessions where the music therapists look for the active participation of the patients and, later , by the day hospital, where they make the harder sessions of chemotherapy more bearable.

“That something as beautiful and magical as music can bring beneficial things to a person who is suffering is something that has no words; for me it’s a dream that I get up with every day.

” Natalia Garrido does not hide a certain passion when she speaks of a project set by herself and that today is already a reality.

This music therapist trained at the Autonomous University of Madrid did not hesitate to present this initiative to the hospital in Jaén as soon as she arrived from the United States, where she worked in this field.

“We use music as a means to achieve therapeutic goals with patients such as improving the management of pain and increase their quality of life,” says Garrido.

And everything, adds this music therapist, through a discipline that is presented as “a complementary therapy in the hospital environment and that is combined with traditional medical treatment.”

All who participated in this program had to take a training course to better understand the environment and the needs of patients.

From the left, Lorena Cuenca, Carmen Martínez, Cristina García and Natalia Garrido with Pedro Sánchez Rovira, head of oncology at the hospital in Jaén. / JOSÉ MANUEL PEDROSA