The Royal Melbourne Hospital Music Therapy program, founded by Manager Emma O'Brien in June 1997, is a vibrant growing service.
The philosophy of the service is to meet patients' needs, physically and emotionally, by offering quality of life experiences through music and the therapeutic relationship and partnership between patient and therapist. The music therapy service at RMH works in a person and family centred model of care. Patients do not have to be musical to benefit from Music Therapy. Our service is world renowned for its innovative songwriting program pioneered by Manager/Senior Clinician Emma O'Brien.
Shannon Bennett, chef extraordinaire is a wonderful advocate for music in health at the RMH. In July he raised $12,000 in during Run Melbourne. We appreciate all his inspiring support.
Shannon is passionate about putting the 'soul' back into food and he sees the role of music in health as putting the 'soul' back into health care. Thanks Shannon!
Singer Pete Murray this month will release songs written by two cancer patients from The Royal Melbourne Hospital, with his third single 'Let You Go'on his Benefit EP on iTunes, as part of a promise he made to them seven years ago.
In 2005 Pete met Kate Dawes, aged 20 and Caroline Clifford, 19. They had both written songs with Emma O'Brien as part of the Music Therapy program.
Pete heard the songs and was very touched by the girls' words, the music and their stories. Pete was a great source of support and hope for both of the girls. He promised that one day he would record their songs. Sadly Kate and Caroline died within six months of each other in 2005.
Staying true to his promise, Pete worked with Emma to record the songs for the families in 2007, shown on the Channel 9 YouTube video above.
Now in 2012, the songs 'Red', written by Caroline, and 'Kate's song' are being released with Pete's third single'"Let You Go" on his Benefit EP on iTunes. The release date is Friday 9 March 2012. Watch the Today Show clip above from March 2012.
Some profits from the release will go to Music Therapy at the hospital, so that more patients can have access to the songwriting program and find their song. "Pete's heartfelt recordings of these two beautiful songs will finally be available to the public in Kate and Caroline's memory," Emma O'Brien said. "Thanks to Sony Music Entertainment Australia, Pete's managment John Watson and Dave MacGregor, and special thanks to Pete Murray."
Now both songs RED and KATE'S SONG have beautiful music clips. We have a limited commeration DVD pack of both clips, background and a beautiful booklet available. Simply email email@example.com for details (each set is provided following a $25 donation to the music therapy program) You can also watch them here!
Special thanks to all involved
A message from Pete Murray about the songs and the clips
"I am very impressed with all the beautiful work and support over the years for the songs, and in particular the wonderful support everyone has shown in making both music video clips. This is also a great opportunity to spread the word about music therapy and how songwriting can really change people's journeys. I know the girls are smiling at us now"
RED : lyrics by Caroline Clifford, music by Emma O'Brien, perfomed by Pete Murray in memory of Caroline Clifford
A spirit of a young woman moves through the city, red paper cranes adorn the streets, she gathers love around her, she doesn't want to leave it all behind.
This beautiful music video clip is a unique music therapy project. It features over 120 people including of Carolines friends and family and Pete Murray in a lyrical representation of Caroline's song RED.
Music video clip producer/director: Emma O'Brien, cinematographer:Tim Metherall, 1st assistant director Steve Wyld, editor: Sioux Currie, camera assistant :Romilly Spiers, online editor: Declan Loughran
"Kate's Song" lyrics by Kate Dawes, music by Emma O'Brien, performed by Pete Murray in memory of Kate Dawes
A young woman's spirit travels between worlds, she is present and alive only in our memories, the unexpected support and kindness of others resonates in her soul.
This beautiful music vidoe clip is a unique music therapy project. It feaures the touching imagery of national treasure Michael Leunig (chosen by Leunig himself). It features Kate's family and friends with the images.
A message from Michael Leunig about the clip
"I found the clip very deeply touching and loved the way my images were used; really strong and gentle and effective...and what a privledge for me to be woven in so exquisitely with such a lovely song."
Music video clip producer/director: Emma O'Brien, cinematographer:Tim Metherall, 1st assistant director Steve Wyld, editor: Sioux Currie, online editor: Declan Loughran, works: Michael Leunig
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent" Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Our 3rd Annual Secondary School Live Music Festival May 1 to May 4, 2012 was fabulous.
The Festival is proudly sponsored by Mrs Barbara Haynes and Ms Betty Amsden AM. This was the third year of the festival. Schools who participated this year were Victroian College of the Arts Secondary, Methodist Ladies College, Preston Girls College, Christian College Geelong- Bellarine, Princes Hill Secondary, Westbourne Grammar, Scoresby High School, Buckley Park College.
There was a wonderful range of performances from: choirs, big bands, string orchestras, drum circles, rock bands and harp ensembles to name a few. There were also Music Therapy workshops, which you are welcome to come along to during the week
Live music is good for you!
The festival was launched by our inspiring guest speaker John Foreman and beautiful music was performed by the talented students from The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and Kew High School
John Foreman is a musical director, pianist and composer and a well-known television personality (Australian Idol & Schools Spectacular). He composed the song ‘The Flame’ performed by Tina Arena at the 2000 Olympic Opening. He is the ambassador for ‘Music Count Us In’, which advocates for music education to be integral to all school curriculum’s. The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School is a state government selective school; training talented young dancers and musicians. This was Kew High School’s 3rd festival with us!
Festival Award winners will be notified soon and registrations for 2013 will commence in September 2012
Music Therapy Manager wins 2011 Victorian Public Healthcare Award December 2011
Music Therapy Manager Emma O'Brien has won the 2011 Premier's Health Leader Award for Enabling Person and Family-Centred Care. This prestigious award was presented at the Awards evening last year by Premier Ted Ballieu. Emma's work in music therapy and in particular songwriting were highlighted as pioneering person and family centred care in cancer services in an acute hospital setting. Emma is close to completing her PhD examining the effect of her specialised writing method on cancer's patients mood and quality of life, she has published extensively on her method, and created the music therapy service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1997.
”It is vital that the emotional and psychosocial aspects of a patient’s journey are part of their treatment and, using music therapy, Ms O’Brien assists cancer patients to express their feelings,” Victorian Minister for Health Mr David Davis said.
Click on the image at right to see a presentation about Music Therapy at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Dry July supports new programs
Special thanks to all those who particpated in Dry July 2011. Music Therapy was one of the beneficiaries of the program, receiving $30,000 to purchase equipment to enhance our quality of life programs in music for cancer pateints.
New programs being extended rolled out thanks to Dry July are:
Bedside Studio: Through the purchase of iPads and laptop computers, Music Therapy can record patients' songs at the bedside
Bring on the Band: To add to our inhouse recording studio (due for completion late 2012 as part of the new Allied Health redevelopment), we were able to purchase more sound recording equipment so songs can grow and be professionally produced in house.
Play: Learning an instrument can really change the hospitalisation experience. Many of our patients are isolated in for long periods of time. Our Guitar, Keyboard and Ukulele learning program can now be expanded thanks to Dry July.
Going Green: all our sheet music is beign scanned an uploaded on the iPads so we can go paperless by the end of 2012 and have thousands of songs at our finger tips to sing for patients during sessions.
P3- Patients' Personalised iPOD Program: Using the laptops and 30 iPods we are able to create personalised relaxation and listening programs for patients and loan them the iPods specially customised in partnership with them during their stay.
Vue de monde Fundraising Dinner - 'Imagine' - What a night!
Over 120 guests were treated to the most extraordinary experience at Shannon Bennett's new Vue de monde on the 55th floor of the Rialto pre-opening in June 2011!
As if by magic, the site was transformed to an enchanting venue. Guests were treated to delicious wines and Shannon's signature degustation. The eveing was hosted by Matt Preston, Adam Hills perfoemd an uplifting comedy spot, a short documentary on music therapy and Pete Murray's involvement with the program was shown. We heard a moving testimony from Tim Sim, cancer patient, about how music therapy has touched his life. Pete Murray performed with Emma a sneak preview of "Red" and "Kate's Song (Pete's Promise)"
Through the wonderful support from Pete Murray, Shannon Bennett and his team, Adam Hills, Matt Preston, Tim Sim all the donors of the auction items and raffle prizes, the wonderful guests and the hard working team at the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation and Public Affairs. We raised $65,000 which has enabled us to create a new music therapy position, expanding on our existing music therapy in cancer care programs and extending into neurology. Now more patients can have access to music therapy. Thank you!
We look forward to our next big night at Vue on 22 November 2012. Join us for another magical night. Read more about Imagine 2012 .
About Music Therapy at The Royal Melbourne Hospital
We all have a connection to music. Whilst our tastes may be different, music connects with all of us regardless of any disability, injury, illness or trauma that we may have. It is not dependent on having any musical training or even a background in music. Music Therapy builds on our innate response to music to promote wellbeing.
Although it is a relatively young profession there is research demonstrating that live music can help reduce stress, relieve discomfort, reduce pain and treatment related symptoms such as nausea. Studies have also found that music can boost the immune system and increase peoples’ overall quality of life. Neuroscience investigations show that music improves overall brain function and that participating in live music experiences has the most potent effect.
Our RMH Music Therapy program offers opportunities for increased self expression, positive experiences and an increased sense of meaning. By meeting patients' changing needs, Music Therapy aims to improve their quality of life.
Music Therapy is managed by Emma O'Brien and we have a team of music therapists and musicians providing this service.
Our RMH program is centered on live music (listening and participating) and original songwriting. Patients are given the opportunity to express themselves and their personal stories in words and music under the guidance of the Music Therapist. Through these methods, Music Therapy can reduce peoples' distressing physical symptoms and increase self-expression, positive experiences and an increased sense of meaning
Programs at RMH
Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Medical Oncology and Clinical Haematology
Eating Disorders Unit
Aged Care AC1 Royal Park
Music in Health
The Senior Clinician / Manager’s current PhD at the University of Melbourne, research project is examining the song writing method she developed here at RMH with cancer patients. This is a unique published method called Guided Original Lyrics and Music (GOLM - O'Brien, 2004, 2005). This major research project is measuring the (GOLM method) song writing's effect on cancer patients quality of life and mood states. This is a multisite randomised controlled trial with RMH and Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. It is due for completition in early 2012. This major research project is a first for music therapy and supportive care world wide.
Music in Health in the RMH Community
We provide two weekly live music sessions with visiting artists in the hospital foyers for all staff and patients. This service is supported by our patron Mrs Barbara Haynes, the Birthday League & the Volunteers' Stall.
As part of Music Therapy's committment to staff wellbeing, we facilitate weekly staff choir sessions on Tuesday's 1-1:45pm in the Historical Room, Ground Floor. All staff and RMH volunteers are welcome. We perform regularly around the hospital and with guest choirs and musicians.
Music Therapy values external community partnerships in order to provide best care. We have been involved in major CD projects, Life Sounding the Soul and Living Soul (both CDs available by email order - contact us for details) Opera Therapy, Opera Project and linkages with external providers such as BreaCan.
For more information about the Music Theropy program, please contact:
Emma O'Brien BMus., Grad Dip MT, RMT, MMus, PhD Candidate UoM Manager and Senior Clinician Music Therapy, Allied Health at The Royal Melbourne Hospital firstname.lastname@example.org
"Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits." Universal declaration of human rights: Article 27.