BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Music therapists at Gilchrist facilities are still busy with sessions throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“Music is the one thing that has been a constant during the COVID outbreak,” Lacy Kidwell, a Gilchrist board-certified music therapist, said. “We’re having to wear lots of PPE. And, it’s been a little bit of a challenge to learn how to sing through an N-95 mask.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Kidwell and the two other music therapists on staff are performing many sessions virtually, although she said sometimes family invite them into homes. During those visits, therapists keep their distance and wear personal protective equipment.

“It’s not just for the patient. While the patient always remains our sole focus, more caregivers are feeling very isolated and I can see the trend after a few weeks had passed,” Kidwell said. “Music still has the power to reach beyond that barrier that sometimes disease and viruses and other factors put up for us.”

Kidwell’s session Tuesday was with Margarita Erazo, 94, and her daughter Myra Erazo-Marmolejos.

“She sings along and sometimes she’ll take her hand and she’ll tap on the table,” Erazo-Marmolejos said. “Oh my God. The smile on her face, I hadn’t seen that in so long for her.”

Music is proven to improve health in a number of ways, including heart rate and reducing anxiety.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler

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