Until the COVID-19 pandemic slows, I’m offering remote music therapy services (via Zoom, Skype, etc.) for free to medical/hospital staff and their patients in the USA, UK, or anywhere in the world…

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Music Therapists have successfully transitioned to working remotely and are continuing to work with their clients.

Some hospitals have created “Zoom Rooms” for the emotional support of their hospital staff: A remote music therapist plays/sings song requests in a room where the hospital staff can take a moment to recharge their batteries with music.

Please get in contact if you are a health professional working with COVID-19 patients, and feel free to share this web page with your colleagues.  Thank you.

Here’s a video where I describe what Music Therapy is (and isn’t), and what credentialed Music Therapists like myself do.

One of the things that all Music Therapists quickly discover is that we all need to be advocates for our profession and try to help educate people regarding what we do and how we do it.  If someone misrepresents ‘Music Therapy’ as something that it is not, we will try to (politely) explain the difference.

At the end of the video I referenced the website for the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), their website is musictherapy.org.

My colleague In Ohio USA, Carrie Whatley, also works with adult patients near the end-of-life.  She wrote an excellent article giving answers to frequently asked questions about music therapy, which I’m copying here:
“So what exactly is music therapy?”- According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is defined as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

“What does a music therapist do?”- Just like Continue reading

When one works in palliative care, one is faced with death every day.

I work at the Palliative Care Unit in the Department of Medical Oncology at Centre Fòrum, a hospital in Barcelona, Spain.  People often ask, “Why would anyone want to work in palliative care?  Isn’t it depressing and sad?”  One might think so, but paradoxically that’s often not the case.  When we know the end is near, we are often more determined that ever to squeeze life out of our remaining days and be positive – and it often has an inspiring effect on the hospital’s staff.

It’s a challenge to bring forth positive, healing, and life-affirming experiences when we are sick, in emotional or physical pain.  And if we are stuck in a hospital bed in a sterile white room, knowing our lives are likely nearing an end, that’s even more challenging.  But that’s why music therapy is such a powerful intervention in palliative care and hospice.  The end of one’s life is an obvious time for reflection, and music therapy contains multiple mechanisms that can provide physical, psychological, emotional, expressive, existential/spiritual and social support at this stage: Continue reading

I had the honor of being the Master of Ceremonies at the the 5th International Conference of the International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM) from June 7th-10th 2018 in Barcelona.

When I was asked to be the emcee I accepted immediately.  The entire conference was full of interesting presentations from luminaries in the Music Therapy field as well as medical professionals.

This is an exciting time for the field of Music Therapy for many reasons, but one is Continue reading

Part of my time working at the Palliative Care Unit at Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, was doing some of the music therapy interventions and also gathering Electroencephalography (EEG) data to be analyzed for this study (released in March 2018): EEG-Based Analysis of the Emotional Effect of Music Therapy on Palliative Care Cancer Patients.

It was fascinating to be a part of, to my knowledge, the first study in the world that measured the effect of MT techniques as tools for modulating the emotional state of end-of-life patients using EEG data.

Jordi Mercade (Music Therapy Supervisor) and patient wearing the EEG device