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A Dose of Music

Music therapy suitable for many situations

February 15, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

Kathryn Cotter, left, is accompanied by Jeannie Allen to play a song for the Opus I Music Society.

ADAMS TWP — Guitar in hand, Kathryn Cotter was faced with a situation of immense sadness.

A licensed music therapist, Cotter was called to the bedside of a dying man who was no longer verbally responding to his loved ones. His wife, facing the thought of losing her spouse, was “fussing,” that is, attempting to care for her husband. The room was filled with anxiety and stress.

Enter The King.

Cotter was able to have enough of a conversation with the wife to learn that she and her husband were fans of Elvis. She began strumming the chords to “Can't Help Falling in Love,” the singer's 1961 hit. It was enough to calm the wife, who stopped hovering and sat at her husband's bedside.

“She holds his hand and she says, 'That's our wedding song,'” Cotter recalled recently during a presentation to the Opus I Music Society at LifePointe Alliance Church, 997 Route 228.

This is an excerpt — pick up Sunday's Butler Eagle or subscribe online to read the full article.