Senior music therapist Tracie Sandheinrich describes her latest songwriting session with Adreona as “like magic.”
The 9 year old, being treated for cancer at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital’s The Costa Center, wrote her first song earlier this year about the importance of being a big sister, her two younger siblings and how much her family means to her.
Writes Tracie: “During our second session, I noticed Adreona was reading a book about animals, full of pictures and facts about zoo animals. When she talked about animals, her face would light up and she would then say specific animals that made her feel happy.
“Animals seemed to play an important role in her life. She reminisced about an old dog she used to have and shared silly stories about her little Chihuahua, Pint.”
Tracie says that after picking out a few musical loops together, Adreona independently improvised her own melody while singing about much she loved all kinds of animals.
“It was like magic,” Tracie says. “You could see that pairing the subject of animals and music together really encouraged her to get engaged on her own.”
Tracie says Adreona also placed a small baby doll — a new toy — on the microphone during her session because she wanted the baby to be included, another sign of the compassion written into her song.
“What an amazing outlet songwriting was for Adreona to express her thoughts and love for animals,” Tracie says. “And who knew what a great voice she had! When she was singing she couldn’t stop smiling!”