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Strings of Healing Help Those in Need

Brevard Woman Magazine CoverBy Toni Allen
Photo printed with permission from Brevard County Woman Newspaper

We have all heard that music can soothe the soul. Music evokes emotion which can calm the mind and refresh the spirit. But did you know that the power of music reaches beyond feelings and emotions? Petra Flick-Trevino, our DARE to be You! woman, knows this so very well. Petra is a Certified Music Practitioner here in Brevard County, and offers her talent as a harpist to patients with physical maladies as well.

Petra provides a precious and valuable service with her enterprise, Healing Strings of Brevard. As a Certified Music Practitioner, she brings live music to the bedside of ill and dying patients. The music has so many benefits for the patients, both physical and mental. The relaxation that results from the harp being played allows for a more effective response on the patient’s part to treatment and even promotes a “self-healing” of the immune system. This type of live music has shown to be successful with patients who have sustained injury, are chronically ill, who have Alzheimer’s, as well as those in hospice.

Brevard HarpistWith eyes sparkling and a smile that lights up the room, Petra’s enthusiasm and love for her chosen work is all over her face. She explains that the therapy involves more than just playing the instrument. Though she went through training and certification, Petra also has a gift when it comes to sensing and interpreting what it is that each patient needs. The right harp music can quiet an agitated patient, slow breathing, and reduce the perception of pain. And, Petra adds, it seems to positively affect many within hearing range, including the family of the patient and the medical staff.

“Music has been used in medicine for thousands of years. Ancient Greek philosophers believed that music could heal both the body and the soul. Native Americans have used singing and chanting as part of their healing rituals for millennia. The more formal approach to music therapy began in World War II when US Veterans Administration hospitals began to use music to help treat soldiers suffering from shell shock. In 1944, Michigan State University established the first music therapy degree program in the world.”

Certified Music Practitioner“Today, over 70 colleges and universities have degree programs that are approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapists must have at least a baccalaureate degree, 1200 hours of clinical training, and one or more internships before they can be certified. There are thousands of professional music therapists working in health care settings in the United States today. They serve as part of cancer-management teams in many hospitals and cancer centers, helping to plan and evaluate treatment. Some music therapy services are covered by health insurance.”

The sound of a harp is quite pleasant; we would probably all agree with that. The tones are beautiful, and the rhythm is soothing, but as I listened to Petra play, not being very familiar with the harp, I was amazed at the ease at which her fingers and feet moved. Harps can have up to 47 strings and 7 pedals at the base of the instrument, which change the note of the strings to play in any key. Her talent is apparent with the melodic sounds she produces, and her skill at meeting the needs of her patients is becoming well-known in the medical facilities in Brevard County.

Petra is our chosen DARE to be You! woman for her dedication to those in need and for her love of music and belief in its healing powers.

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Music_Therapy.asp

If you have a loved one who could benefit from Music Therapy, talk to your attending physician. For more information on Petra Flick-Trevino or on Healing Strings of Brevard, contact her at petrahello@yahoo.com.

Photos by Cheryl Clermont link www.spacecoastphotographer.com