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Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

One of many therapies offered by VNA Hospice Care, music therapy is the purposeful use of music along with the relationship formed between patient and therapist.

It is a powerful tool that has proven valuable for reaching Alzheimer’s patients, for reducing or alleviating pain, for recovery from stroke, for bereavement and for enhancing quality of life.

VNA Hospice Care uses board-certified music therapists with a MT-BC designation. Board-certified therapists meet the latest standards of practice and must maintain the clinical skills and abilities necessary to effectively and professionally treat patients.

Music Therapy In VNA Hospice Care

VNA Hospice Care uses music therapy as a valuable tool in hospice’s mission to help our patients retain dignity and control at the end of life.

In these special visits with VNA Hospice Care patients, the music therapist provides music as a catalyst for sharing memories and processing life changes.

The music therapist also uses music to help ease the person’s physical and emotional pain. Music therapy offers benefits for the bereaveme t process as well – helping the patient’s loved ones manage the burden of grief before and after the patient passes away. Music therapy sessions for VNA Hospice Care patients are arranged individually for each patient.

What Happens During A Music Therapy Session?

There is no typical music therapy session. As each patient is an individual, the course of each session is individual to fit the patient’s requirements.

Depending on the needs and abilities of the patient, the therapy may involve composing a new song, singing old favorites or even improvising new music with an instrument. Music is used as a tool to facilitate wellness in a target area such as mental, physical, spiritual, emotional or cognitive functioning.

Sometimes music therapy requires no active participation by the patient. A patient may sit and listen to the music the therapist provides as a means for relaxation, to help establish a regular respiration rate or to alleviate restlessness. A music therapy session can be as active or passive as the patient’s abilities allow, but the patient can still be involved in and benefit from the therapy.

To learn more about music therapy, please contact VNA’s Music Therapist Karen Sholander at (214) 406-8793 or