Taking a leap of faith in Music and Passion

 

While most of her peers scrambled to secure jobs, Trudy Chua, 25, took the time to carve out a career she was genuinely interested in pursuing. She took the plunge and decided to follow her passion – opting out from a secure corporate job to be a Music Therapist.

“I would have most probably looked for a position in the Public sector, one of the Ministry’s Corporate Communications Department,” acknowledging her background in New Media, Communications and Economics; but she was compelled to find a career that combined her loves – sharing her gift of music with others and interacting with people.

Aspire to inspire before you expire
An interview for a journalism module with Sister Geraldine Tan, a pioneer of Singapore’s Hospice movement, sparked Trudy’s desire to serve in hospice care. After listening about Sister Geraldine’s calling towards people in their final stage of life, she too felt the same, especially after the passing of her grandfather and volunteering at Bright Vision Hospital.

Stepping out of her comfort zone
At the beginning of her volunteering journey, Trudy struggled with approaching patients in the ward due to her quiet demeanour. Lightheartedly recalling a patient who replied, ‘Bu Hao (not good),’ when Trudy greeted her, “Ni hao (Hello)”.

“Meet them where they are; we are not necessarily there just to make them happy, or brighten up their day,” shared Trudy - an approach adopted from BVH’s Medical Consultant Dr Tan Yew Seng during volunteer training.

Sometimes, all it takes is music to brighten up a person’s day. Trudy would sing to patients with a guitar or play their favourite tunes with her phone. “Their faces light up and sometimes, I can see them tapping their fingers to the music!”

Other times, she would just sit at the patients’ bedside to keep them company, “because we can spend quality presence with someone, without exchanging a word,” shared Trudy. Even after a patient lost his voice, she would sit by his bedside, play music and communicate through hand gestures.

Unexpected friendships
Many may find it difficult but to her, it is a privilege and honour to walk with someone in their final days. It warms her heart knowing her simple gestures make a difference especially when patients refer to her as a friend.

Our nurses and therapists also look forward to her visits and introduce her to more patients who appreciate music. “The support from everyone has been amazing,” said Trudy. After the passing of her first friend, our colleagues rushed down to the ward to console her and made sure she was alright.

With the support of her friends and family, Trudy continues to pursue her dreams and currently teaches music part-time for schools. She will be studying a Master’s degree in Music Therapy early this year.

If you are interested in volunteering with Bright Vision Hospital, please email community@bvh.org.sg or call 6248 5755.

To read Trudy’s article on Hospice care, please visit http://newspulse.teacheraaron.com/?p=130.

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taking-leap-of-faithTrudy (in yellow) celebrating the Lantern Festival with our staff and patients.