AbstractIt has been my experience that parents are willing and open to express their voices to promote and advocate for music therapy services for their terminally ill children. By listening to parents' voices when providing care for terminally ill children, much can be done to ease the suffering of children and families at the end of life (Widger & Wilkins, 2004). My music therapy masters research at the University of Melbourne with Dr. Katrina McFerran will investigate bereaved parents' experiences of music therapy with their terminally ill child. This inquiry unfolded through my music therapy work with several children and families within hospice and palliative care. Parents have reflected that music therapy was a vital component in their child's care at the end of life. As one mom commented, "I don't care what anyone says, it has made a world of a difference." In order to further explore parents' experiences of music therapy, in-depth interviews will be conducted and transcripts will be analyzed using phenomenological strategies. It has been reported that parents find the interview process helpful in working through grief. They have also reported feeling an overall eagerness to share their child's story in order to provide input that might assist other families in the future (Widger & Wilkins, 2004). This article will describe pediatric palliative and hospice care, discuss parents as advocates for their terminally ill children, portray the use of music therapy within pediatrics, and share an example of music therapy with Jack.
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