Monday , May , 29 2017
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IVH Small Shield Music Therapy

Therapy Through Music


Staff and resident singing Resident playing drums Two residents with guitars

A quote from one of our residents "Everyone in the World Should Sing"  
Watch the video (this video opens in a new tab and plays on YouTube)

What is music therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish individualized non-musical goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.   Music therapy is a health profession that can be used to address physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs at all stages of life including end of life care.  

Why music therapy?

A considerable body of literature exists to support the effectiveness of music therapy.  Clinical and empirical evidence in music therapy reports that it is effective for meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of residents and families.  A resident does not have to have a particular music ability to benefit from music therapy, nor is there a certain type of music that is more therapeutic.  All styles of music can be useful.  The residents’ preferences, needs, and goals determine the types of music used during music therapy sessions.  Music therapy can be used to:

Reduce physical symptoms of pain, agitation, and shortness of breath

  • Address and alleviate feelings of depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, isolation, disorientation, confusion, loss of independence, and loss of control
  • Support spiritual beliefs and practices
  • Improve and maintain quality of life
  • Provide social and sensory stimulation
  • Allow the resident and their family an outlet for emotional expression
  • Leave a legacy
  • Facilitate movement

Who benefits from music therapy?

The universal appeal that music provides makes it possible for nearly every individual to participate in music therapy in meaningful ways.  Residents can benefit regardless of their musical experiences and background.  

What happens during a music therapy session?

Since music therapists serve a wide variety of people with many different needs, there is no such thing as a typical session.  Sessions are designed based on the individual resident’s goals and treatment plan.  A music therapist evaluates an individual’s needs and musical preferences in addition to his/her cultural background and spiritual beliefs.  Residents may benefit from actively engaging in music therapy interventions such as singing, song writing, music making, improvisation, making musical choices, or moving to music.  Residents may also benefit by receiving the music through active music listening and music assisted relaxation.  Music therapists are trained to use a variety of instruments depending on the residents’ preferences and needs.  Through involvement in this therapeutic process, residents’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.  

For more information on music therapy, please visit the American Music Therapy Association website at (This page opens in a new tab)



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Marshalltown, IA 50158
Phone: 641-752-1501
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