VITAS Music Therapy Helps Patients Tune In

Because music is non-threatening, enjoyable and enhances brain function, people of diverse ages, backgrounds and abilities can gain therapeutic benefits through music therapy. When offered to those at the end of life, music therapy can bind with other healing efforts to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of hospice patients.

Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy?

Music therapy provides the most benefit to patients who:

  • Lack social interaction or sensory stimulation
  • Experience pain and symptoms that are difficult to control through traditional medical interventions
  • Feel anxious or are affected by dementia
  • Look for a concrete way to cope or to define or articulate feelings or thoughts
  • Face communication problems due to physical or intellectual impairments
  • Need spiritual support, possibly involving other family members
  • Enjoy music to enhance their quality of life or maintain dignity

What Techniques are Used?

Music therapists draw from an extensive array of music activities and interventions. For example, the therapist and patient might compose songs to help express feelings; a patient might learn to play the piano to improve fine motor skills or use musical instruments to cope with unspoken emotions.

Music therapy is not available in every VITAS location. Please contact your local program for more information.