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Speaker shares music therapy’s power to heal

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Music significantly affects us throughout our lifespan – from first cry to last breath. Explore how music therapy is used to address the healthcare of newborns, those with developmental disabilities, and those dealing with stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease when Dr. Deforia Lane visits Mercyhurst University on Monday, April 3.

Lane is associate director of the Seidman Cancer Center and director of music therapy at University Hospitals of Cleveland, Seidman Cancer Center and Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Her talk, a presentation of the Roche Guest Artist Series, begins at 8 p.m. in Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall and is free and open to the public.

She’ll discuss how music therapy can help patients speak again following a stroke or help Parkinson’s patients walk with a strong, steady gait. She’ll also explore music therapy techniques that can help manage pain, reduce stress and anxiety, elevate mood, and improve coping and cognition.

Lane will share videos of patients engaged in music therapy, and demonstrate practical techniques to use in managing your own health.

Lane has designed and implemented music therapy programs for such diverse populations as the mentally handicapped, abused children, geriatric clients, the behaviorally and psychiatrically disturbed, adult and pediatric cancer patients, and the terminally ill. She has consulted for organizations including the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Mayo Clinic, Ohio Hospice Organization, the National Department on Aging, and Sesame Street (Children's Television Workshop).

A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, she composed and recorded the song "We Can Cope." She is distinguished by her ability to empathize with her clients because of her personal struggle with cancer.

Lane earned a master’s degree from Cleveland State University and her doctorate in music education from Case Western Reserve University. She holds board certification as a music therapist and is certified by the American Music Therapy Association for Faculty Authorization.

Her work has been recognized in publications such as Reader's Digest and Coping Magazine and in forums such as National Public Radio, CNN, CBS This Morning, Wall Street Journal TV and ABC World News with Peter Jennings. Her many awards include the first grant from the American Cancer Society to investigate the "Therapeutic Effects of Music on Oncology Patients,” the Oncology Nursing Society's Mara Mogensen Flaherty Lectureship Award, and the Cleveland Negro Business & Professional Women Award. In 1994 she received honorary membership in the Oncology Nursing Society, the highest honor the society confers.

All events of the Roche Guest Artist Series are presented to the community at no charge thanks to the generosity of the Terry and Margaret M. Roche Family.

For more information about this event, contact Dr. Nathan Hess, chair of the D’Angelo Department of Music at Mercyhurst, at