Live music for individual patients
Today’s typical healthcare facilities are busy, loud, unfamiliar places where patients have little control. Everyone who attends the patient wants something from them—doctors ask questions, nurses poke and prod, and visitors want to be reassured.
My goal is to make it easier for people to heal in a hospital.
What does a therapeutic musician do?
Therapeutic musicians play live, acoustic music to patients one-on-one at their bedside to create an environment that can be conducive to healing. We chose the music according to the patient’s needs in the moment. As the patient’s needs change, we change the music accordingly.
We work collaboratively with the healthcare facility staff or hospice team, discussing the patient’s condition within HIPAA requirements, and charting the patient’s reactions and results.
Therapeutic musicians are trained to focus on the individual patient we’re serving. We ask nothing from the patient except their permission. We use sound to create a space for the patient where they can let healing occur.
Why provide music at the bedside?
To boost the immune system
To accelerate surgical recovery
To alleviate anxiety and stress
To stabilize heart rate and reduce blood pressure
To reduce the need for anesthesia and pain medication
To promote healing or assist in the life/death transition
Read some of the research that supports healing music.
Why live music?
One of the biggest differences between receiving recorded music versus live music is that a live musician can alter the music to fit the patient’s needs instantly, changing not only what song they are playing but how they are playing it. Studies suggest that the patient's music preference plays an important factor in influencing their healing response to the music.
Another advantage comes from using an acoustic instrument. The full spectrum of sound from my harp reaches the patient without being compressed or filtered by the recording process or speakers. The patient can feel the resonance of the music in a way that is not possible with tapes, CDs, or music downloads. Arnon et al. 2006 (PDF➚) shows longer-lasting beneficial effects from live music than from recordings.
How I can help
As a Certified Music Practitioner, I am trained to provide live, therapeutic music as a service to patients who are ill, in order to foster a healing environment. For patients who are dying, I am trained to help with the life/death transition.
I serve individual patients, one-on-one at their bedside in the hospital, hospice, or nursing home. I work near Jersey City and New York City.