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The Healing Power Of Music

January 4, 2012, 6:10 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

The Healing Power Of Music
SIOUX FALLS, SD - You may listen to music to help you relax or for entertainment, but have you ever thought about how it can help those who are sick?

The South Dakota Symphony kicked off its Music as Medicine series. The goal is to not only help patient's heal, but to create a better environment for healthcare workers.

Members of the South Dakota Symphony are performing in front of a different crowd than usual.

Musicians are hoping their music will turn into medicine for patients at Sanford Hospital.

"Music is such a vital part of our lives outside of healthcare, so it's only logical that we would bring it into a situation where we're uncomfortable. We're experiencing new things," Sanford Social Worker and Certified Clinical Musician Kathleen Fransen said.

James Smorada is among Wednesday's crowd. He says music was a high note as he battled colon cancer.
"I took my I touch into the room with me when I was admitted as a patient, and it was on 24/7," Smorada said.

Smorada is now in remission, but he still says soothing sounds play a key note in his life.

"Music and thinking are so closely tied. Music and happy thinking are closely tied. Music and worshipful thinking are closely tied," Smorada said.

These musicians not only bring harmony to patients, but also doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

"It can be very calming for the staff and to know that there is someone else there who is also caring for their patient," Fransen said.

While music is not a new to the medical field, people are tuning in for treatment more often. Fransen says it can be key for people of all ages and stages of life.

"We hear people who are in very difficult healthcare situations, and all they can do is sigh or the moaning that you'll hear. That's their body trying to make its own sound and bring that healing sound out," Fransen said.

A healing sound that's becoming more key in local hospitals, thanks to members of the South Dakota Symphony.

Musicians will perform at Sanford and Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls throughout the next few months.

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