Music therapy helping West Virginia patient heal

MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - If you've ever been stuck in the hospital, you know it's not always the best time.

Now music therapy has made its way into the rooms of Ruby Memorial Hospital. For one man who underwent a bone marrow transplant last week, he's going to be there for a while.

The therapy helps spread joy between Robert Cox and Amy Rodgers Smith, who is a music therapist for WVU Medicine.

"While we're singing and playing instruments, writing songs, talking about music, we are working on a patient's anxiety, or we may be elevating their mood," said Smith.

"I've tried to take one day at a time," Cox said. "I try to not think too much about what's really going on."

A change in the atmosphere can help lift those spirits.

"I love singing anyway," Cox said. "I enjoy people singing a lot."

For Cox, it doesn't matter the type of music.

"I love my bluegrass though," he said.

Smith's upbeat approach to her work has paid off, leaving Cox with a smile, and looking forward to their next visit.

"I'll probably pretty much stay in pretty good spirits anyway," he said. "I like laughing."

"Ideally in music therapy, you do develop a relationship," Smith said. "Patient preferred music is the most effective music and so we can build the relationship and go back and forth, and can go work on some songs and bring them back."