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Music Therapy Gets a Rock ’n’ Roll Makeover

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Music therapist Kirsten Davis accompanies Chris Lenz, a former professional musician who is in hospital with advanced multiple sclerosis.   Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist

Music therapist Kirsten Davis accompanies Chris Lenz, a former professional musician who is in hospital with advanced multiple sclerosis. Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist

The Times Colonist newspaper in British Columbia recently published this article on the Bandwagon travelling recording studio, which is being used for music therapy around B.C.’s lower mainland. It’s an excellent read…

“Now he trusts the beauty of the great unknown. Now he believes in love.”

— Lyrics from Sarah Elizabeth by Chris Lenz, with music therapist Kirsten Davis

The song is called, simply, “Sarah Elizabeth.” Musician Chris Lenz wrote and recorded it for his wife. The song is a gift that might just mean as much to him as to her.

Lenz, 48, has advanced multiple sclerosis, a progressive disease of the nervous system that has kept him in hospital for the past two years.

The father of a seven-year-old, Lenz was forced to give up his career as a musician at the age of 25 when his symptoms made the delicate work of handling guitar strings too difficult.

Thanks to the Bandwagon — a fully equipped travelling recording studio — and a group of motorcycle-riding members of the music industry who designed and fund the roving music therapy tool, Lenz is able to make music again at Saanich Peninsula Hospital.

Even though plenty of scientific research shows that music has an almost magical capacity to ease pain, anxiety and depression, and to evoke profound responses among patients with conditions like Alzheimer’s and autism, funding for music therapy from health providers and extended health services is scant.

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.timescolonist.com/music-therapy-gets-a-rock-n-roll-makeover-1.1397122

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