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Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the Media page to listen to an example of a Therapeutic Music Session

Who Benefits?

Everyone benefits from Therapeutic Music! Even visitors and facility staff naturally benefit by simply being in proximity.

This unique and valuable healing modality addresses a variety of patient conditions:

Injury and Recovery

Chronic Disease

Emotional Crises

Terminal Illness

Life Transitions

Chronic Pain

Acute Conditions

Anxiety and Depression

Cognitive Impairments

Birth and Dying

Where Is It?

Therapeutic Music can be provided in myriad environments! Because it is a comprehensive healing tool, it can be found in places like:


Dental Offices


Nursing Homes

Chiropractic Offices

Psychiatric Facilities

Birthing Centers

Private Practice

Treatment Centers

Educational Institutions

Why In Person?

Therapeutic Music is ideally provided in person, and there are many benefits to this:

There is no substitute for compassionate presence.

Music brings joy and connection.

Music can be immediately adapted to the patient’s needs.

Live acoustic music is not compressed and digitized like recorded music. This allows for greater effectiveness as live music has a rich spectrum of vibrations and harmonics.

What’s It Like?

A Therapeutic Music session is unique to each patient, and is adapted to meet the patient’s immediate needs. A typical session proceeds thus:

I obtain a referral

Referrals may come from a patient, their family or friends, their care providers, chaplains, or social workers.

I receive the patient’s permission

Many patients are curious about my instrument, and sometimes even mistake it for a barbecue grill! Often patients are happy to have both a visitor and a distraction from their time in the hospital. Nevertheless, it is always the patient’s choice to allow me in their room. I explain to the patient and any visitors who I am, my role as a therapeutic musician, and what they can expect from me. I invite them to relax and enjoy, reminding them that what I provide is not entertainment, but a service intended to facilitate healing.

I set up and begin to play

I position myself so that I can see the patient. Sometimes I am given information about the patient that guides my music, though frequently I must discern through observation what type of music would best meet their needs. While I have no specific agenda, I do hope to provide comfort and stability to the patient. It is quite rewarding to see a patient finally able to rest, allowing their bodies to heal.

During the session

I generally play for 20 minutes, all while keeping my attention on any changes in the patient. Depending on the changes I observe, I may adjust the tempo, complexity, texture, melody, style, dynamic, or duration of the music. Changes can be subtle or overt, and can occur abruptly or over time. I am constantly observing and adapting to the patient.

I end the session

I may end a session when the patient falls asleep, when I feel I have provided sufficient care, or when the patient requests that I stop. I thank the patient (even when they are asleep) and quietly exit their room. I then document the session and note any changes I observed in the patient.

After the session

This work can be intense, and I sometimes need to take time to process the pain that I witness. I am grateful to those who appreciate the intimacy of my profession, and who share with me how a therapeutic music session has affected them. Read more in these Testimonials.

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