Case Study Music and the Brain: The Impact of Music on an Oboist's Fight for Recovery

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A 20-year-old female, alias Sara, was an aspiring professional oboist who studied music performance at college level. While wading across a river she lost her balance, was swept down river, and suffered profound injuries including severe hypothermia, cardiac arrest, and hypoxic brain injury. While recovering, her family and friends surrounded Sara with music. Her oboe teacher placed Sara's oboe in her hand and played tapes of Sara's past performances. Her mother played recordings of her favourite music in hopes that the music would remind her of her life's passion and, thus, stimulate her mind and soul while she recovered. Two years post-injury, Sara continues to strive to improve her quality of life. In this case study, Sara's musical and medical recovery is detailed using quantitative and qualitative data. This data gathered allows one to provide an analysis of the powerful role of music in Sara's fight to recover.