Arts and Entertainment

Patients find this prescription for therapy is music to their ears

During a recent therapy session with Jan Stouffer, right, a board-certified music therapist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Anita Heckert of Hershey felt her mood dramatically change. “I knew I was profoundly sad before, and I knew I felt very, very different after music therapy,” Heckert, left, said. “I hadn’t been feeling strong at all, but seemingly effortlessly, Jan gave that gift back to me." Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

After 12 days in the hospital, Hershey resident Anita Heckert could tell her optimism was waning, so when her occupational therapist suggested music therapy, she was game.

“To have someone come and spend time with me that didn’t involve needles, drawing blood or an MRI was very appealing,” said Heckert who was in Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for complications due to colon cancer.

As Jan Stouffer, board-certified music therapist with the Music Therapy Program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, quietly played guitar, she gave Heckert an ocean drum to play.