MUSIC & SOUND THERAPY
AS APART OF END OF LIFE & PALLITIVE CARE
It’s important to acknowledge that Sound & Music Therapists do not apply music in a prescriptive or linear manner like a nurse might with medicine to address symptoms of agitation or pain. Rather, we work to empower patients to be stakeholders, which means they co-construct the music experiences with us, providing them the opportunity to experience the form, function, and purpose that is most relevant to their own relationship with music and to their health needs.
Some of the most impactful music therapy sessions that I can recall are the ones where the patients are in control of the music making, and I become more facilitator than leader.
What kind Treatments are chosen?
How and when music is brought into a session is a collaborative process, part of a negotiation among stakeholders that includes the therapist and patient and may also include caregivers (such as family and friends) who are gathered to support the patient and/or each other. As noted above, no music therapist knows the “right” song for any given moment, but we do conduct thorough assessments that help us understand how music may contribute to a healing aesthetic environment.