Meet Our Music Therapists: Introducing Meghan MacMillan
Meghan has been a music therapist in oncology (cancer care) for just over a year. She works with patients and their families to help them cope with physical symptoms, such as pain and shortness of breath, as well as the emotions that come up with diagnosis and treatment. We spoke with Meghan to learn a little more about her, why she loves music therapy, and how music therapy has made a difference for patients receiving cancer care at Grand River Hospital:
Coming from a background of music and sociology, I was looking for a way to combine two things I love: music and people. I love that music therapy lets me meet people with what they need in the moment. Sometimes, my job is matching music to a person’s breath to help them slow their breathing. Other times, it’s helping create a lullaby for a parent to sing to their children, so they can still feel connected even while hospitalized. Seeing the moments that happen because music is present is what keeps me in music therapy.
One memorable moment I’ve had at Grand River Hospital was a session where I sat with a patient during a pain crisis. Words weren’t helpful at that moment, but the music provided support. Afterwards, they told me it had felt like they were alone in the dark, and then I had been able to come be with them. We have so many different therapies in the hospital that meet patients’ needs in different ways: my role is one more.
– Meghan MacMillan – Inpatient Oncology and GRRCC