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Tag Archives: music therapy

Music as a Living Legacy: Song-writing in oncology

musicandcreativetherapyby SarahRose Black, MMT, MTA


“Music is what life sounds like.” – Eric Olson

When I first introduce the idea of song-writing to patients and their families, the most common response I receive is “I don’t know how to write music”. I am always delighted when patients exceed their own expectations and create a remarkable living legacy.

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Commentary: Music Therapy Could Build Resilience In Teen Cancer Patients

musicandcreativetherapyby SarahRose Black, BMus, MA, MMT, Music Therapist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Kensington Hospice, CKN Music & Creative Therapy Section Editor

As the field of music therapy continues to grow, an ever-increasing body of knowledge is being developed through qualitative and quantitative research studies in a number of different areas. In March 2014, the journal Cancer published a randomized controlled trial study done in the United States, on how music therapy could potentially build resiliency in teens undergoing stem cell transplants. The results were promising, as those who participated in creating a therapeutic music video reported more courageous coping, better social integration, and a better family environment during a high-risk cancer treatment. Adolescents and young adults can often be overlooked in the healthcare system as they have unique psychosocial needs and are often caught between care for pediatric and adult patients. Music has a unique capacity to cater to any age and stage of disease progression, particularly when offered by an accredited or board-certified music therapist. While more research needs to be done to develop a deeper understanding of these benefits within a broader adolescent and young adult population, the results of the therapeutic music video intervention are exciting and speak to the power of music to support people during some of the most challenging times of their lives, regardless of their age.

Read the report in the Huffington Post:



12 Ways to Use Music for Healthy Living

musicandcreativetherapyby Bev Foster B.Ed., B.Mus., ARCT, AMus


Ubiquitous. That four syllable word describes how music permeates our world. It is everywhere – in every culture, in schoolrooms, at sporting events, in parades, on radios, ipods and mp3 players, in grocery stores or markets, on street corners, in religious institutions and health care clinics, in concert halls, dance studios and theatres. Music accompanies us on the journey, through life passages, through sickness, through health.

Music has a capacity to reach into every human domain and improve our quality of life through stimulation, social integration, communication, expression and daily routine. Music is a powerful medium.

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Songwriting as Expressions of Life, Illness, and Experience

 musicandcreativetherapyby Sara Klinck, MMT, MTA


Thoughts and feelings spill into the air. I begin to sing and words take flight with tone, rhythm, melody. Messages that can be expressed and contemplated, they hold meaning to the one expressing them. Simple. Honest. Profound. The music and the voice bring the lyrics to life, so that they can be heard, received, digested. Perhaps the heart can be understood a little bit better through the process of writing a song.

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Imaging for Wellness: Guided Imagery and Music

musicandcreativetherapyby Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, PhD, MTA, MT-BC, FAMI


Music therapy is an established profession that offers effective treatment approaches in addressing a range of needs and issues presented by cancer patients and families. In oncology settings worldwide, music therapy is identified as a non-pharmacologic health care treatment offering soothing and expressive benefits to those receiving this care. Specific music therapy strategies are provided by certified or accredited music therapists to facilitate meaningful changes in physiological, psychosocial and spiritual processes. Today’s blog introduces a specialized practice method known as GIM which requires a therapist to complete three distinct levels of study to become a facilitator of the method.

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The Room 217 story – a caregiver’s response to cancer

musicandcreativetherapyby Bev Foster


I’ve always had a strong sense that music is my close companion along the journey of life. Music has accompanied me through various life passages, but there is one passage that I’ll never forget. It happened in Room 217 at the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital. My Dad was dying of cancer.


Dad loved music. He played the piano mostly by ear. I loved doing music with him. We used to play hymns together on Sunday afternoons. He would be at the organ and I would be at the piano. Dad and Mom would come to my recitals and concerts at school, church and in the community when I was a student and when I began playing professionally.


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