Harps can be incredibly soothing. Hannah Burnett, a 13-year-old from Australia, understands this well. She’s only been playing the stringed instrument for a year and a half, but she’s already mastered the delicate fingering needed to create beautiful melodies.
Even better, she’s using her talent to help others by playing for premature infants in the very same hospital that cared for her was she was born early!
While research has shown that music has healing powers, Jonelle Mayers, a representative from the Special Baby Care Unit at Cairns Hospital in Queensland, said they don’t currently have a music therapist on staff. But they do have Hannah!
Twice a week during school holidays, Hannah performs for these babies and their families for an hour, and everyone loves it! “A lot of the noises can be quite toxic in a hospital,” Jonelle said. “Then to have something so soft as a harp playing is absolutely beautiful.”
It’s not just patients and staff members who benefit from her melodies! “The parents are having a really tough time,” the teen explained. “No one really wants to be in the hospital with all the noise and the beeping and the crying, and yeah I just really wanted to come here and help the children.”
Supporting these families takes commitment and creativity, and Hannah has plenty of both. She’s even started composing her own tunes to meet her tiny clients’ needs!
“You don’t really want a Highland jig for the babies because that might make them cry,” she said. “It’s been a really wonderful experience, and I’ve loved playing for the children and seeing the faces of people when they just light up seeing beautiful music.”
What a gifted teen! It’s so special to see her return to the hospital that cared for her as a preemie to help other children recover. We hope more hospitals will consider adding this sort of musical therapy for their patients.
Watch the video below to see Hannah in action, and don’t forget to share this story.
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