The healer in Barkley had awakened, but the means to recovery was a bit ahead of its time. Barkley, a pianist, eventually enlisted the help of a music therapist "“ and today, her boy is a thriving 15-year-old, part of a growing rank whose health may be linked to the therapeutic benefits of the arts.
Healing Notes, which Barkley founded in 1992, will host "A Night in Ipanema" March 22 at Liberty Station to benefit the music therapy program at Scripps Memorial La Jolla Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. The tropics-themed event is the latest installment in Barkley's fund-raising efforts as Healing Notes' executive director.
"This is something that insurance does not cover," she said. "There are some hospitals that have healing arts programs, but the budget usually is rather small."
Licensed music therapy practitioners, Barkley explained, receive a five-year degree and are taught to recognize a music genre's curative powers based on the patient's age and condition. Premature babies, Barkley said, make especially delicate cases "“ the practitioner can easily overstimulate these patients and perhaps do more harm than good.
And the science yields a fairly sophisticated set of findings. One 30-minute session, Barkley said, has been known to increase a sick child's immunoglobulin "“ the substance that coats and helps sterilize food "“ as much as 30 percent.
"This is not entertainment," Barkley said. "It is entertaining to the children, but our goal is to educate people on the scientific benefits of music therapy."
Live fare is optimal, Barkley added, "because the vibrations that our body is absorbing are where the results come from. It's not about what we're hearing; it's about what our bodies are reacting to."
"A Night in Ipanema" will feature pictures of the children that have benefited from the therapy and the music of Tita Lima, a Brazilian vocalist whose bossa nova stylings are her stock in trade. Dining Out magazine is providing the latin cuisine. The event will take place March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the McMillin Event Center, 2875 Dewey Road, off Rosecrans Street.
Tickets are $125; cocktail attire is requested.
For more information, call Healing Notes at (619) 846-8359 or visit www.healingnotesinc.org.