30 Days of PH: Music Therapy

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by Jen Cueva |

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Day 9 of 30 Days of PH⁣⠀ ⁣Topic: Music therapy⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ This is Tess’s story @phightertess⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Music has always been a big part of my life, unfortunately, so has a chronic illness. I was always a poorly child. I grew up struggling with breathing problems, but music was always there. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I took up piano lessons at the age of 4 and I haven’t looked back. When I was younger, I was always playing on my piano as I was too sick to go out and play with my friends. As I was growing up, I decided to learn the cello and trumpet as well. Sadly I cannot play the trumpet anymore due to my PH, but continue to play the cello in orchestras, which has taken me around the world.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I love playing my piano at any time, good or bad because it always transports me to another world. It will always be my therapy. I was diagnosed with PH in February 2008 and when I was told that I only had a few months to live, it felt like my world came crashing down. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣However, I was determined that this wasn’t going to stop me from pursuing my dreams of pursuing my degree in music. After juggling with my health and my studies, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music in 2012. I became a school music teacher, but I quit teaching to return to University for a Masters Degree in Music Therapy. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣Music therapy is a psychological therapy that aims to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement of live musical interaction. Music helps me so much through my illness, I wanted to use my passion for music to help others who are unwell. I now have my own business as a music teacher and a music therapist. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ I love being my own boss. It means I can choose my own hours and it works with my hospital appointments too. If I am unwell, I can cancel work last minute and rearrange at my own convenience. As a music therapist, I work with children with severe learning disabilities. Although the work can be difficult emotionally, it is also very rewarding. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣As well as my wonderful parents, husband and PH team, I am also very grateful and thankful to have music as a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of them!

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