This week’s edition of Five Question Friday gives a nod to Music Therapy Week. Let’s learn more about Children’s music therapist Sarah Woolever.
How long have you worked at Children’s?
Why did you decide to go into music therapy?
I did a lot of service projects in high school and was very involved in the choir and marching band (go, drumline!). I knew I loved working with people, and I personally gained so much out of my musical experiences beyond learning how to play an instrument. Performing as a profession wasn’t for me, and I didn’t want to be in education. Music therapy was the perfect balance of both my passions.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at Children’s?
I have so many great memories it’s hard to pick one! Recently, I received a referral from a child life specialist in the hematology/oncology clinic. A 2-year-old girl had been in the clinic for procedures every day for the entire week. She was tired of being there and needed an intervention that would change the environment and her mood, as well as give her an alternate focus during procedures. I brought developmentally stimulating tasks that really motivated her. She smiled, sang, danced (while sitting on her bed) and successfully played new instruments. She was in charge by making choices and leading her mom and myself while playing our instruments or thinking of new words to familiar songs. She focused on the session for over 40 minutes – a really long time for a 2-year-old! It was a normalizing experience where she could be herself. During this time, her nurses were able to do their work without protests and mom was able to relax as well.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I love spending time with my husband and our 17-month-old, Declan. I love hosting dinner parties as well as practicing yoga.
What’s one interesting fact about you?
I know I just wrote that performing wasn’t for me… but I do write, record and perform songs around the Twin Cities with my bandmate. Writing music is a great outlet for me, and it keeps my musical skills sharp.