Music Therapy

Proven to improve health, well-being, and quality of life.

Music is medicine.

Music + Herb = Medicine. Chinese characters

In Chinese, the calligraphy character for music is the foundation for the character medicine, and in many ancient civilizations, one of music’s primary purposes is healing. At VNA Health, a focus for our patients is the healing of heart and spirit. Today, scientific research has confirmed music’s therapeutic ability to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, enhance concentration, stabilize heart rate, and more.

Music Therapy formally began after both World Wars. Musicians of all types, amateur and professional, from around the nation went to hospitals and played to Veterans suffering physical and emotional trauma. Impressed by the patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music, hospitals were soon hiring musicians, colleges were creating curriculum, and eventually, the Certification Board for Music Therapists was incorporated in 1983 to strengthen the credibility of the music therapy profession by assuring the competency of credentialed music therapists. VNA Health has been awarded a 4-Star rating for our We Honor Vets Program, which includes music therapy free of charge to Veterans.

As an established health profession, Music Therapy addresses physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. It has been proven to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life of those being treated, regardless of age, culture, or physical limitations.

Healing Heart and Spirit at End of Life
Hospice Music Therapy can bind with other palliative and hospice care efforts. While not appropriate for every hospice patient, music therapy can be surprisingly effective with an otherwise unresponsive patient and can impart a context of important memories of that patient’s life. Hospice Music Therapy benefits family, friends and loved ones of patients and helps with grief and bereavement.

Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, patients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives. Music Therapy offers emotional support for patients and their families and provides an outlet for reflection and expression of feelings. Ultimately, patients, families, and caregivers report an overall improvement in quality of life.

At VNA Health, our Music Therapy Program is offered free of charge to patients wherever “home” may be. Every year, our music therapists make over 1,300 visits. Our board-certified music therapist assesses the condition and needs of the patient and designs a plan of treatment that includes creating, singing, moving to and/or listening to live, patient preferred music within individual, group and/or family sessions.

The VNA Health Music Therapy Program includes:

  • Certified music therapist working closely with the health care team
  • Personalized program to meet the needs and abilities of the patient
  • Bedside visits including singing, playing instruments, and improvisation
  • Customized playlist for patient

The Music Therapy Program at VNA Health is solely funded by the generosity of donors. To learn more please contact the VNA Health Foundation at 805.690.6290 or