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March 1st is World Music Therapy Day

Meet Holly Platis, certified Music Therapist at Beaumont Children’s. Holly has spent the last 4 years helping pediatric patients cope, mend, and relax through the healing powers of music. She sings, plays guitar, ukulele, piano, and some percussion, too! Every year she works with over 1,500 patients, all with various backgrounds and diagnoses to help them through their clinical experiences.

Holly’s Journey in Music Therapy
Because of Holly’s passion for music and psychology, her Choir Director recommended a Music Therapy career path as she looked to further her education after high school.  She started her undergraduate journey at Eastern Michigan University. As she excelled through the program at EMU, she found her calling in Music Therapy specifically for pediatric patients. To wrap up her college experience, Holly interned at a fellow CMN Hospital, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Following graduation, she started her career at Beaumont and also completed her Masters in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology, and received certification in Neonatal Intensive Care Music Therapy.

Focused On Clinical Outcomes
Music interventions are clinically proven to help patients cope with the physical and emotional stress that come with a hospital stay. For each session, Holly keeps her clinical goals front of mind: reducing anxiety, increasing relaxation, improving fine and gross motor skills, managing pain, and continuing patient growth and development during hospitalization.

Holly’s Music Therapy sessions offer pediatric patients developmental music play, live music, lyric analysis to learn and explore emotions, music-facilitated relaxation, music instruction, as well as songwriting and composition. Holly tailors each session to each individual patient and what they need in that moment.

Heartbeat Recording Program
The Heartbeat Recording Program provides families with a heartbeat recording of their loved one who is terminally ill. Using a Bluetooth stethoscope, Holly logs and records the heart beats. Then, those heart beats are put in a speaker and placed in a stuffed bear for families to keep. Initially this program was only offered on the pediatric unit, but it has now grown to patients in the NICU, PICU, and even with Gift of Life organ donors.

Gift of Life Program
Gift of Life nurse, Molly Lemaster, BSN, RN comments on the impact of this program saying, “As the Organ Donation Coordinator my responsibilities not only include caring for the patient during the dying process but also supporting the family as they cope with losing a loved one. I met Holly when I was working with a pediatric patient and family. She explained to me how Child Life Services supports families during these difficult times and shared with me some of the memorial keepsake programs they offer. I was especially moved when she showed me the Teddy Bear with the heartbeat recording. We then collaborated on how to expand this to the adult organ donor patients. Since then many families have been offered to have their loved ones’ heartbeat recorded and a speaker placed in a teddy bear. Families frequently respond with “You can do that?” I’ve delivered these to family members in the past and they’ve always expressed how much they appreciate this keepsake. Some squeeze it right away and others want to wait, but every family is comforted and grateful. The bears provide a unique connection to someone who has passed. It has such a positive impact for the families.”

We are thankful for Children’s Miracle Network partners, programs and donors who allow Beaumont to have a robust Music Therapy program with an amazing certified therapist.

Happy World Music Therapy Day!