Saturday, January 2, 2016

Music Therapy in Hospice

 "Music is a uniquely powerful form of art that has a long and storied role in many forms of healing and overall wellness. Music, with its ability to transcend cultural, language, and societal barriers, has the power to promote wellness for the whole person. In the hospice setting, music is one of many therapeutic art forms that are used to promote total well-being within patients, families, caregivers, and the bereaved.

History of Music Therapy
Music is a medium that has long been used to promote spiritual wellness and has a longstanding history as a therapeutic tool in healing practices. Dating as far back as 500 B.C., during the time of the ancient Grecians, music is recognized for its therapeutic properties. Renowned philosophers of this era, such as Plato, Pythagoras, and Aristotle, recognized the powerful influence music had on an individual’s overall wellness. Plato states: “Music is an art imbued with power to penetrate into the very depths of the soul.”

In music therapy’s advancement as a modern medical profession, E. Thayer Gaston, credited as the father of music therapy, was instrumental in music therapy being an officially recognized tool in the medical community. A staunch defender of the impact music has on the whole person, Gaston established three core principles for the use of music in a therapeutic setting.

Music therapy helps establish or re-establish interpersonal relationships

Music therapy promotes positive self-esteem through self-actualization

Music therapy uses the unique potential of rhythm to energize patients, bringing order and calmness.

Techniques Used in Hospice Music Therapy
Music therapy in hospice is unique in that it can draw from the patient’s culture, religious beliefs, and cherished memories to create a healing experience that is deeply personal and meaningful. In this, music therapy promotes an environment of healing and emotional restoration that are precisely in tune with a patient’s specific needs. While all hospice music therapy programs will have some degree of variance between them, most music therapy sessions in the end-of-life setting incorporate many of the same therapeutic exercises and techniques."

Music Therapy in Hospice

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