Learn About Music Therapy Month

Learn About Music Therapy Month

Did you know March is Music Therapy Month?
With the help of Music Therapist, Jill Murphy, we’ve compiled a list of facts about the Hospice Music Therapy Program as well as Music Therapy as a practice. We hope you enjoy!
  • There are more than 550 accredited music therapists registered with the Canadian Board
  • Music therapists require a degree in music therapy, which is currently offered at 6 Canadian universities including Acadia University here in Nova Scotia
  • In order to become accredited, students must complete a 1,000 hour internship followed by a written exam
  • Music therapists use music to reach non-musical goals. You do not need to be musical to benefit from this form of therapy
  • Goals of music therapy include promoting self-expression, reducing anxiety and depression, promoting relaxation, and increasing self-worth
  • Sessions can take place in a group or on a one-to-one basis
  • In its earliest form, music therapy began after the world wars, when veterans returned suffering both physical and emotional wounds. Musicians, both professional and amateur, played in hospitals and nurses saw the positive responses to the music. Hospitals went on to hire musicians, which in turn led to the first music therapy educational programs

Hospice Involvement

  • The Hospice Society has been supporting the music therapy program since 2009
  • Sessions take place in Sydney, New Waterford, Glace Bay, Mira, Eskasoni, East Bay, North Sydney, Sydney Mines and other surrounding communities. They take place in hospitals, nursing homes and within the community
  • Patients can be referred to the music therapy program by nurses, doctors, volunteers, family members, or anyone who has an interest in the patient’s care
  • Assessments are completed and a treatment plan is created based on the patient’s unique need
  • A legacy program was created several years ago based on an increasing demand for patients to leave a lasting gift for family members. This includes, but is not limited to, The Memory Bear program, heart beat recordings and Legacy CDs
  • Legacy CDs capture stories, songs and memories which are compiled to give to family members
  • Music therapy has the ability to adapt to each patient’s needs, so even a patient who is minimally responsive can still be involved

To learn more about music therapy, visit the Atlantic Association for Music Therapy website or the Canadian Association of Music Therapists website.