Music Therapy Services at End of Life
a music therapist Christian has over 15 years of experience working with people at the end of their lives.
therapy offers many benefits to those in hospice.
of pain or symptoms such as shortness of breath
Elevate the mood
of anxiety, restlessness, isolation, and agitation
Reduce need for
medications for pain, symptoms, anxiety, and depression
emotional, and grief support
Reduce need for
other psychological interventions
Create a feeling
of overall well being
to family and loved ones of the client
shared experiences with client and family of all ages
Offer aesthetic experience
Assist in the
final stages and transition to the next world
Increased sense of well-being
Research is beginning
to show that with hospice clients who receive music therapy, overall medical expenses are reduced
* research references available on request
The Music Therapy Experience
Music Therapy makes
a difference during all stages of the dying process. It can help when a person is more up and active, or in the final
days or hours. It is often said that hearing is the “last thing to go”, and quite often this is true. The music
therapy experience for those at end of life will vary and is individualized to meet the needs of the person on each visit.
Sessions can work if a person feels active or has very low energy- the experience is customized with each visit. Music therapy
services are client-centered, and meet a person where they are with each visit. A person need not be a musician or "musical
person" in order to benefit from music therapy.
Sessions may include:
support based on each client’s belief system
family sessions, and other specialized music therapy interventions.
Many styles of music are used in music therapy. Christian and therapists he works with are proficient in many
styles and instruments:
Folk & Old-time
from 1900’s-1980’s (some current music)
Jazz & Big
Rock & Roll
from Elvis, to the Beatles, to U2
Ethnic and cultural
Meditation & Relaxation music
Many more and
I'm always willing to learn new music- just ask!
Instruments Christian plays include: Guitars, Voice, Native American and other Ethnic Flutes, Reverie Harp, Ukulele,
Percussion, Keyboard, and others.
Therapy can be very beneficial to people of all ages at the end of life. Music brings memories and allows for reminiscence
and life review as a way to help find life meaning- even for those with advanced dementia. It is a vehicle for emotional expression.
It can soothe pain, anxiety, agitation, and bring comfort to an otherwise uncomfortable time. It can provide emotional and
spiritual support. It can also provide positive interaction for those with cognitive challenges and their loved
ones. It can support the needs of the entire family, not just the client. As a holistic treatment, it focuses on the needs
of the whole person, not just the disease or condition.
Music Therapists are trained
extensively in music, psychology, physiology, education, and spirituality. A board certified music therapist has a minimum
of a bachelor of science degree (one that usually takes more than 4 years) and over 1,100 hours of clinical training. Additionally
music therapists must take a clinical certification examination, and receive 20 hours of continuing education annually. While
musicians are ocassionally employed by other hospice programs, they do not have the same level of qualification or benefit as
a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC).
Click here to read Hospice Music Therapy Stories
Click Here to Listen to More of Christian's Recorded Music
contact us with any questions you may have.
The music you should
be hearing in the background is all performed by Christian Nielsen. To hear more of his music, or order recordings, feel free
to browse the entire web-site.