Music Therapy

Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute offers patients a wide range of music experiences to enhance their well-being during treatment.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is the use of music and musical interventions to create, restore, maintain and improve emotional, physical, physiological, and spiritual health and well-being. Music can also improve physical movement and enrich a cancer patient’s quality of life, which is key to the overall well-being of people undergoing cancer treatment.

Benefits of music therapy

Medical experts believe that music therapy can reduce pain, anxiety and nausea caused by chemotherapy. In fact, the power of music has been shown to affect the mind and body in the following ways:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce anxiety and depression associated with cancer treatment
  • Provide non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Reduce stress and promote relaxation
  • Effect positive changes in mood and emotional states

What to expect

A typical session consists of half talking and half music. It begins with a counseling session followed by an activity that involves music and sound. Most sessions are 1-1/2 t0 2 hours in length. No prior music experience is required.

Music-therapy techniques include:

  • Music-centered relaxation and meditation techniques using Native American flute, gongs, Tibetan singing bowls, bells, etc.
  • The Bonny Method of Therapeutic Imaging and Music
  • Drumming and music-assisted ritual
  • Singing, chanting and songwriting
  • Playing instruments and improvising
  • Focused listening and lyric discussion.

Appointments & Referrals

For more information or to take part in a music therapy session, please call 206-386-3200.

Talk to Someone or Make an Appointment


Network of Locations


Cancer services are provided at the Arnold Pavilion and at our locations in Ballard, Bellevue, Cherry Hill, Edmonds, Redmond, Mill CreekIssaquah and Burien (Highline partnership).




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