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Caring with Music

January 2022

College of Nursing

Student nurse with uniform, stethoscope, and nametag. Photo courtesy Sarah Allsup, BYU Nursing

Nursing student Sarah Allsup is fascinated with the power of music in the care of terminally ill patients.

As a child, Allsup remembers visiting a critically ill family friend. “A hospice worker came with a harp and played soothing music while my dear friend lay in bed dying. The feeling in the room was enchanting; after all that pharmacology could do, this music was the medicine that eased her pain.”

Years later, still enthralled by the concept of music therapy, Allsup became a volunteer for hospice, where she helps patients through their last difficult days. Allsup and her husband sometimes share music with the patients where she volunteers. She plays the flute, and he plays the guitar. “It is always spiritual and memorable,” she says.

Allsup was a 2020 Wheatley Student Scholar and is in her final year as a nursing student. “Being a BYU student is a dream come true,” she says. She continues to gather research on the effects of music therapy and is eager to become a nurse. Allsup aspires one day to be a woman’s health nurse practitioner who eases suffering with music.