Patients, Families & Carers

Music Therapy

Music Therapy is used at Dove House Hospice to help our patients with both their symptoms and pain as well as with emotional issues.

What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy can be an effective way of expressing yourself when words are hard to find. Making music or listening to music with a Music Therapist can help you put words to thoughts and feelings which are confusing, difficult or frightening. Music Therapy is not a music lesson and no previous experience of singing or playing instruments is necessary - for most people music accompanies them through life and different types of music/songs can be associated with certain times or life events.

Music Therapy works in many different ways:

Listening

Our Music Therapist will often spend time listening to certain music or songs with a patient and discuss how that song makes them feel and its significance in their life. Often these songs can be very meaningful to the patient and can lead them to talk about anxieties and uncertainties they have as a result of their illness. Sometimes the Music Therapist will put a CD of songs together for the patient to pass on to their loved ones as music can be a great way of communicating with someone when we can't find the right words ourselves. CDs can also be made of the patient's musical journey and include songs that have been important at different stages in the patient's life.

Writing songs

No prior experience of song writing is necessary as the Music Therapist will ask the patient what it is they want to say and together they will form it into a song and put some music to it. Again, the Music Therapist can record this onto a CD and this can be given to the patient to pass on to their loved one(s).

Improvisation

Gives patients a chance to use music as a way of expressing how they are feeling inside. The Music Therapist will work on a one to one basis or in a group situation and play instruments with the patients and literally making the music up as they go along.

Our Music Therapists will often spend time listening to certain music or songs with a patient and discuss how that song makes them feel and its significance in their life.

Pain and Symptoms

In some situations the Music Therapist will play music to a patient who is tired, breathless, in pain, anxious or agitated and the music can help calm and soothe the patient enabling them to relax, which can ultimately help pain relief and enable sleep.

Escape

Playing or listening to music can also give a patient a means of escape and enable them to have a few moments to themselves, without thinking continuously about their illness and situation.

Fun

Music Therapy sessions can be a lot of fun and a patient can relax and laugh whilst taking part and this can really increase self-esteem and increase relaxation.

Music Therapy can be accessed from all of the clinical departments here at Dove House Hospice - for more information please contact the Medical Secretaries on (01482) 784343 or email medical@dovehouse.org.uk.