Supporting health with music therapy

A young woman seated in a chair holds a guitar. A drum is next to the chair.
Music therapist Anna Tang
October 17, 2018

Fremantle Hospital’s Anna Tang is one of 10 music therapists in WA.

Working closely with the occupational therapy staff, a typical day for Anna involves group or one-on-one sessions in the Mental Health Unit.

“Most people are quite curious about my job. There is a misconception about music therapy, especially in WA. Music therapy is much more than a sing-along, it’s a research-based profession," Anna said.

"Depending on the patient’s needs, music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.

"Part of my job is about understanding the patient’s capacity and limitations, and providing a non-judgemental space where they are encouraged to express themselves and engage with others.  

"We use instruments and patients can sing – there is no right or wrong when it comes to music.

"It’s entertaining, where patients are able to socialise, communicate and find their own identity, but therapeutic, where music can regulate the patient’s mood throughout the day.

"Every setting can be different and building rapport is quite important. 

"Seeing the progress and change in patients is my biggest motivation. When I see them laugh and smile, it’s rewarding for me.”

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