leonard p. zakim center for integrated therapies

The Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies at Dana Farber opened in 2000 with a mission to enhance the quality of life for cancer patients and their families by integrating complimentary therapies with traditional cancer care. The Center provides integrative therapies to help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with cancer and its treatment to patients and their families; offers education on these integrative therapies to patients, families and staff; and advances knowledge of the effectiveness and outcomes of these therapies through peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical research. 2008 marks year five of the “Making Music” music therapy program offered through the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies. The program takes place in DFCI’s Betty Ann Blum and Marjorie Blum Pediatric Resource Room of the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Led by board-certified music therapist Brian Jantz, sessions are a respite from the sometimes-stressful world of the clinic – a place to be kids rather than patients. Its aim(s) include increasing self-expression and self-confidence while decreasing anxiety and providing opportunities for normalcy and control. The program provides group and individual music therapy sessions to pediatric patients and their families. Sessions include singing, playing instruments, learning to play piano or guitar, composing original songs, recording CD’s, dancing, or just showing up to see what it’s all about. All ages and abilities are welcome. Music therapy is also offered to patients who are confined to beds receiving chemotherapy, blood transfusions or have compromised immune systems. With an increase in hours and additional access to patients, the program has truly flourished and is now reaching out to hundreds of additional patients and family members, who are now able to receive weekly clinical music lessons on guitar, piano, drums or voice. A program focusing on music recording technology has been implemented and well received. Through this program, participants can record CD’s, compose original musical scores, create movies, comic books, and slide shows and burn these to DVD’s. Many parents volunteered to comment on their satisfaction with the music therapy program. Patient and family satisfaction level is extremely high. Rock guitarist and singer/songwriter Jonathan Auerbach volunteers his time and talent, donates money and helps raise funds in support of the music therapy program. In March of 2008, Jonathan began teaching a series of master class workshops at DFCI for patients in the music therapy program, titled "Rock-in'-Time: a Rock Music Performance Jam.” The workshop while interactive and entertaining was also instructional. “Music therapy is about safety in song,” says Jonathan. “I’ll be teaching kids who already have the ability to play an instrument to enhance their playing and performance skills. Performing music well while having fun doing it empowers and builds confidence. Each child has unique health challenges, but music is a universal gift: music moves, music frees, music heals.”