Two months ago, I met a patient the ICU dealing with complications from his chemotherapy treatment. He welcomed me and Music Therapy with open arms, and as we developed a strong rapport he shared with me some lyrics to an unfinished song he started when he was 19 years old. It was his wish that we finish the song to bring his life experience full circle. He had recently received news that his diagnosis was terminal, so he decided to plan for his inevitable goodbye by composing a song with me to memorialize his life’s journey.
When we finished his song, “A Winning Hand”, it was the patient’s wish to share the song via the internet so that it could potentially “inspire people and bring them comfort if they could relate to the song’s message”. It was a supreme honor to meet and know this patient for a short time, and I am pleased to share this song with all of you. Happy Holidays!
You can find the written article here:
And here’s the radio spot featuring Crystal Weaver, Dr. Mark Varvares, Bjorn Ranheim, and Anne Fagerburg:
Crystal Weaver, CRC, MT-BC
Senior Music Therapist
Crystal Weaver is a Board Certified Music Therapist and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Music Therapy in 2004 and graduated with a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2010 from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. During her time at Maryville University, Crystal Weaver was presented with the Leadership in Music Therapy Award from the Music Therapy Program and the Faculty Award for Excellence from the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. From 2009 to 2010, Crystal Weaver was the graduate assistant for the Rehabilitation Counseling Program.
In 2004, Crystal Weaver completed a National Roster Internship at Hospice of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach, Florida. Later that same year, she accepted a full-time music therapy position at BJC Hospice in St. Louis, Missouri. During her time at BJC Hospice, Crystal was a part of the Missouri Baptist Hospital Speaker’s Bureau and was a member of the Quality Assurance Performance Improvement Committee. In 2010, Crystal was named Employee of the Year at BJC Hospice.
In 2011, Crystal Weaver accepted a music therapy position at the St. Louis University Cancer Center. This position focuses on conducting music therapy based research studies and providing music therapy services to patients diagnosed with cancer. Crystal is also responsible for fostering community partnerships with the St. Louis Symphony and the St. Louis University School of Fine and Performing Arts.
In addition to her responsibilities at the St. Louis University Cancer Center, Crystal Weaver is a site supervisor for music therapy internship students and is an adjunct faculty member at Maryville University and the St. Louis University School of Fine and Performing Arts.
Andrew Dwiggins, MT-BC
Andrew Dwiggins is a Board Certified Music Therapist at the St. Louis University Cancer Center. He graduated from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy in July 2013. After completing a music therapy internship, Andrew was hired as a full-time music therapist at the St. Louis University Cancer Center. At the St. Louis University Cancer Center, Andrew Dwiggins is responsible for: conducting music therapy sessions and assisting Crystal Weaver with music therapy research studies.
Before pursuing a career in music therapy, Andrew Dwiggins was a professional musician. His band, Greenwheel, was signed to Island Records from 2000-2006. Andrew composed the song Breathe which was recorded by Melissa Etheridge for her 2004 album entitled Lucky. In 2005, Melissa Etheridge received a Grammy nomination for the song composed by Andrew Dwiggins in the category of Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance.
To learn more about the St. Louis University Cancer Center’s Music Therapy Program contact:
Crystal Weaver, CRC, MT-BC
Senior Music Therapist
St. Louis University Cancer Center
3655 Vista Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
April 9th, 2014 from 2 – 5pm
We are thrilled to announce our latest opportunity to educate and inspire the community about Music Therapy with an upcoming Grand Rounds presentation! With Therapeutic Songwriting as our focus, the presentation will feature Crystal Weaver, CRC, MT-BC, Tracie Sandheinrich, MT-BC, and Grammy Award Nominee Andrew Dwiggins, MT-BC – describing how we and our patients collaboratively transform their experiences and emotions into song.
Why is songwriting therapeutic? How are songs for the radio different from therapeutic songs? Does a patient need to be an accomplished musician/songwriter for a session to be successful?
These and more questions will be answered by our engaging presentation: including patient interviews, session experiences, and most importantly – MUSIC!