Music Therapy programme
The Music Therapy programme at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse uses research and evidence-based practice to assist patients’ relaxation, reduce stress, relieve pain and discomfort, and improve mood. It can also provide patients with an outlet for expression and to explore difficult feelings through a supportive and creative framework.
The Lifehouse Music Therapy program consists of sessions for inpatients, outpatients, family members and carers and includes listening and participation in love music and original song writing. This service is available to all patients of Lifehouse and does not require any prior skills or musical experience.
Patients can take part in:
- Bedside music therapy and song writing;
- Musical skill building on a range of instruments
- Recording projects, and performances
- Weekly Lifehouse choir.
The Lifehouse music therapy program was founded by Lifehouse Music Therapy Fellow Dr Emma O’Brien OAM, and is proudly supported by The Goodridge Family Foundation.
Jack Thomas completed his Master of Creative Music Therapy at Western Sydney University, and has since gained a wealth of experience working with a range of client populations in a variety of clinical settings. These include Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia, where Jack worked with children with neurodevelopmental conditions to develop cognitive and behavioral skills and adults with acquired brain injuries, using music therapy interventions to recover fine and gross motor, and executive function. Jack also runs a music therapy program in a high school that specifically caters for secondary students diagnosed with emotional disorders and mental health issues, as well as seeing clients with cerebral palsy through his private practice. Jack’s strength-based and patient centered approach to music therapy aligns with the values of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, with a focus on respecting and empowering the individual and collaborating to ensure the highest level of service is provided and all individuals’ needs are fully met. Jack strongly believes in the transformative powers of music and thoroughly enjoys providing quality of life experiences to patients at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Dr Emma O’Brien OAM is an internationally renowned innovator in the role of music in wellbeing; specializing in facilitating the creation of original songs with individuals and communities. She is a singer, performer, music therapist, composer, researcher and entrepreneur. Emma is the founder (1998) and ongoing lead of the music therapy service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). Emma was named in The Age Melbourne Magazine as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 provocative, passionate and powerful people of 2012. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2017 Australia Day Honours for her service to community health through music therapy programs. Emma has been mentoring the Music in Health program at COBLH since its inception and continues in this role as Music Therapy Fellow. Most recently her RMH Music Therapy Program won two significant awards. The 2018 Melbourne Award – Community Award – In Harmony with Health – 20 years of music therapy at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the 2018 Victorian Public Health Care Award- Safer Care Victoria Compassionate Care Award.
Robert’s love for music was deeply influenced by his father, David Teicher, who was a leading professional opera soloist across Eastern Europe and Russia in the 1940s and 1950s. From accompanying professional singers on the piano to singing at the Sydney Opera House in full costume and make-up in five Opera Australia Productions, Robert has been composing and arranging music for many years and conducting choirs since 1994, including the Waverly-Randwick Philharmonia, The Daydream Believers and The Great Synagogue Choir.
Robert studied classical singing with Australian opera legends Raymond Myers, Donald Shanks and Florence Taylor as well as piano and conducting with Werner Baer and Tommy Tycho. Robert is leading the Lifehouse Staff and Patient Choir and providing music as a milieu in outpatients.
Robert feels it is a privilege to be part of a team whose trusted role is one of adding joy and light through music in the hospital setting. Robert’s favorite songs are ‘Daydream Believer’ and Beethoven’s ‘Ode to joy’!
The Lifehouse Choir
There are many benefits from singing: physically, emotionally and socially.
- lower stress and recharge your immune system.
- benefit our hearts and circulation by improving our aerobic capacity
- help to reduce anxiety
- enhance mood
- increase feelings of wellbeing
- provide opportunities to meet and join in a fun activity with others
Singing is an ageless enjoyment – you are never too young or old. No auditions or prior training are needed to join the Lifehouse Choir – all are welcome!
So go on, come and have fun with us, get singing and join the Lifehouse choir, run by Health Musician and pianist extraordinaire Robert Teicher and music therapist Jack Thomas.
Repertoire will include popular songs from all ages.
Drop in anytime. Free for all. All patients, carers and staff welcome.
Every Thursday 12.15pm till 1.15pm
COBLH, Main Foyer