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Focus of MT for Transplant Patients
Provide opportunities for self-expression
Decrease perception of pain
Increase sense of control
Provide developmental stimulation and interaction
Improve breath support
Provide memory-making and legacy-building opportunities
Provide family support
Explore meaning/purpose of life/illness
Provide emotional support
What is Music Therapy?
According to the American Music Therapy Association (2018):
"Music Therapy is the clinical and
use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a
who has completed an
approved music therapy program
Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address
physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs
of individuals. After
the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context,
clients' abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.
Music therapy also provides
avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words.
Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people's motivation to become engaged in their treatment,
providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings"
Brief History of Music Therapy
The idea of music playing a role in medicine and healing process: Aristotle and Plato.
1789: "Music Physically Considered" article in Columbian Magazine.
1800s: Role of music in medicine appears in medical dissertations-Edwin Atlee (1804) and Samuel Mathews (1806).
Blackwell’s Island in New York
1900s: Music Therapy profession formally began as therapeutic value of music was recognized with injured soldiers of WWI and WWII
Associations: National Society of Musical Therapeutics (1903); National Association for Music in Hospitals (1926); National Foundation of Music Therapy (1941)
1944: First music therapy program (Michigan State University)
1950: Requirements: University-level education, research and clinical training, board-certification under NAMT
1988-2018: American Music Therapy Association formed.
Improvisation (instrumental and vocal)
Discussion of coping skills involving music
Creative musical play
Benefits Transplant Patient Assistance Fund
Music Therapy Settings/Populations
Hospital (adult and pediatrics)
Developmental and intellectual disabilities; Neurodevelopmental disorders.
Alzheimer's disease and Dementia
Improvisation (instrumental and vocal)
Further reading and resources
American Music Therapy Association: MuiscTherapy.org
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks
American Music Therapy Association (1998-2018). Retrieved from https://www.musictherapy.org
Bates, D., Bolwell, B., Majhail, N. S., Rybicki, L., Yurch, M., Abounader, … Liu, H.D. (2017). Music therapy for symptom management after autologous stem cell transplantation: Results from a randomized study. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 23(9), 1567-1572.
Fattorini, I., Cherian, N., Gallagher, L.M. (2015). Music and the Brain. In M.S. Benninger, T. Murry., & M.M. Johns III (Eds.) The performer’s voice. (pp. 7-22). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing Inc.
Fifer, W. P., & Moon, C.M. The Role of mother's voice in the organization of brain function in the newborn. Acta Paediatrica, 397, 86-93.
Fredenburg, H.A., & Silverman, M. J. (2014). Effects of music therapy on positive and negative affect and pain with hospitalized patient recovering from a blood and marrow transplant: A randomized effectiveness study. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 41, 174-180.
Ghetti, C.M. (2011). Active music engagement with emotion-approach coping to improve well-being in liver and kidney transplant recipients. Journal of Music Therapy, 48(4), 463-485.
Mason, A.T. & Silverman, M.J. (2010). The effect of music therapy on relaxation, anxiety, pain perception, and nausea in adult solid organ transplant patients. Journal of Music Therapy, 45(3), 220-232.
Melzack, R. (2001). Pain and the Neuromatrix in the Brain. Journal of Dental Education, 65(12), 1378-1382.
Pantev, C., Herholz, S.C. (2011). Plasticity of the human auditory cortex related to musical training. Neuroscience Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(10), 2140-2154.
MT and Transplant Research Examples
Transplant patients who participated in MT used significantly less narcotic pain medication than patients who did not (Bates et al. 2017).
Transplant patients who received MT post-transplant experienced significantly less pain, anxiety, and nausea (Madson and Silverman, 2010.)
Patients who participated in MT focusing on emotional expression, awareness, understanding, and coping strategies experienced significant increases in positive facial affect, decreases in pain, and decreases in negative affect (Ghetti, 2011.)
Patients who participated in a single MT session experienced decreased pain and improved facial affect (Fredenburg &Silverman, 2014).
Mother's voice has musical qualities.
Babies show preference for mother's voice just 2 days after birth. (Fifer & Moon, 1994).
Learning as a child through music
Music activates many different area of the brain at once (Pantev & Herholz, (2011).
Music is associated with movement, emotion, memory, and has cultural significance.
Neuromatrix model of pain: Music stimulates the same areas of the brain that process pain, therefore processing music diminishes perception of pain (Melzack, 2001).