Our story so far...
Our Story so far.......
Cancer can touch anyone. Ourselves. Our family. Our friends.
Music touches everyone. Ourselves. Our family. Our friends
The power of music is a knowledge that we all share. Scientific studies have shown that music can influence heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, pain perception, physical health and well-being. Science shows us that music can manage anxiety and stress during treatments such as chemotherapy & dialysis, increasing its effectiveness.
Clinical Music Therapy is a well established health profession where therapists work with individual patients to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. Therapeutic musicians provide live, acoustic music specifically tailored to the patients immediate needs. In both these areas there is differential between need and provision. So how to begin to bridge that gap?
Phase One: recognizing the challenges.
How to apply the wealth of available science based research and knowledge that supports music therapy?
How to deliver music to the wider community where and when it’s needed?
What music to deliver?
How to pay for it?
How can we make it available for patients yet protect their privacy?
Phase Two: Building Blocks & overcoming the hurdles.
We undertook an extensive program of consultation, meeting with and listening to world renown healthcare professionals, composers and musicians with international reputations who generously shared their experience and ideas.
What music to deliver? We settled on streaming original music from award winning composers from the world of film, television and media. Don’t people already listen to music they already have? Yes. All music is equally effective but listening to your favorite music during treatment you run the future risk of being transported back to a negative time, forever tarnishing what was once so treasured. Once you stop using the app you are unlikely to hear this music again.
How to deliver the music? Recorded music could provide part of the answer. Our solution was to develop a music streaming app for smartphones and tablets using both the Apple iOS or Android Google Play platform. Privacy was protected as no information would ever be asked for from users or healthcare professionals. Passcodes would be made available to healthcare professionals to ensure complete anonymity.
How to pay for it? We wanted it to be free for users. Our solution was to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to cover the costs of licensing the music and the streaming costs.
Phase Three: Putting the team together.
After an extensive international search we approached designer Chris Knox from ‘Helloknox’ and developer Tom Gallagher from ‘The App Engineers’. Although both independent, Chris and Tom have worked together on numerous projects before. Allan Johnston, the acclaimed New Zealand photographer, was approached for use of his images. The first design meeting was held on Skype on November 18, 2015 with schedules and budgets also agreed.
Phase Four: Design and development.
Over the next 18 months as we progressed through the design and development process, many milestones were passed:
• On March 22, 2016, Therapeutic Music in Medicine (tMiM) became a validated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to sharing and "broadcasting the therapeutic benefits of music to all" A team of three administer the organization. • The logo was designed. • Images and music for the initial version were chosen. • September 21, 2016 saw version 1.0 of the ‘minimum viable product’ released for beta testing. • In December 2016, Amazon Web Services were chosen to provide the streaming platform. • On January 18, 2017 version 1.1.6(9) of the app was approved by Apple for download through their App Store.
Phase Five: Local roll out.
On June 7, 2017, after extensive fine tuning both to the app and particularly to the background systems, version 1.4.3 was reviewed and approved by Apple for download. We are now working to adapt the code for the Android which will be available soon. At the same time we are now working with local health providers to check our systems and iron out any remaining kinks. We will be adding additional tracks and images as well as creating more playlists as we progress.
There is a website – www.mytmim.org - a Facebook page – Therapeutic Music in Medicine – a Twitter account - @tmimorg – and we have been approved for the PayPal Giving Fund – Therapeutic Music In Medicine Inc – so donations made there are not subject to any processing fees.