Music Therapy Earns Cary Student Top Award

Cary, NC – As advanced as medicine has gotten, there is a human and emotional quality to health that we can never forget about. And one Cary student created a project to use music to help people in hospitals, earning her the Girl Scouts’ top award.

Music for Patients

McKenna Crawford, a junior at Panther Creek High School, came up with her project “Bringing Music to those in Need of Healing and Comfort” from her own experiences and interests, volunteering for the the DooR to DooR healing arts program at UNC hospital.

“I like music a lot and I went to hospitals before with my high school band to play music for people and help them,” Crawford said.

Out of this, Crawford created a volunteer program to bring musicians into hospitals and assisted living facilities to play music for patients and residents, as well as curated a CD drive to get music when there were no musicians available.

The project earned Crawford the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award, the organization’s highest award.

“She recognized a need in her community and took action to create a sustainable response,” said Lisa Jones, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.

How Music Can Help

Crawford said her interest in music was the whole basis of the project.

“I wanted to find something I was interested and that I knew about and then use it to help people,” Crawford said.

While Crawford has previous experience playing music in hospitals, she said she still had to do some additional work to develop this project.

“I did research on different kinds of music and found how they each affected people, from seasonal music to generational,” Crawford said.

Part of her project also involved creating pamphlets to educate patients and residents about music therapy.

“For example, classical music in particular can reduce stress and lower blood pressure,” Crawford said.

Crawford said once she goes to college, her interests are not in medicine but more math and science, particularly chemistry.

“But I would want to continue playing music,” she said.

Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Ashley Winton and Mark Bonica.