Music Therapy

The music therapy program at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) offers complimentary individual and group music therapy to SCI patients, family members, and care partners.

What is music therapy?

“Music therapy is 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” - American Music Therapy Association.

All sessions at SCI are facilitated by a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), which means the facilitator has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, has completed 1,200 hours of supervised internship, and has passed the national board certification exam in addition to maintaining the required continuing education credits to remain credentialed.

How can music therapy help me? 

Music therapy is a treatment modality that enhances your cancer treatment plan. It may help:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Manage pain 
  • Increase relaxation 
  • Improve sleep hygiene 
  • Promote creative coping skills 
  • Enhance mood

What can I expect during a session?

By providing a supportive and individualized environment, participants are invited to explore the healing benefits of music therapy during cancer treatment and survivorship. Some components of music therapy include:

  • Listening to music 
  • Instrument playing 
  • Music improvisation 
  • Singing 
  • Songwriting 
  • Lyric discussion 

No prior music experience or confidence required to participate in music therapy.

What types of services are offered?

Individual Sessions: Complimentary 50-minute MT session with a focus on using music to address each person’s unique strengths and therapeutic goals during cancer treatment and survivorship.

Group Music Therapy: Weekly music therapy groups are offered at First Hill.  All materials provided, no music experience required to participate.

  • Ukulele Group: Wednesdays (ongoing) 2:00-3:00PM.  
  • Music and Wellness Group: Thursdays (ongoing) 12:30-1:30PM.

Treatment Center Visits: 5-20 minute visits from SCI’s MT offering live music designed to decrease stress and increase relaxation.

Sessions are offered in person and virtually.

Research highlights

Support music therapy at SCI

The music therapy program at SCI is generously funded through philanthropic support. Donations from the community help make this program possible. To donate or learn about how you can support our music therapy program contact: Jeff Walker at or 206-386-3194.

Questions and scheduling

To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact: Betsy Hartman at 206-386-6711 or at

For more information about our drop-in music therapy groups, please see the Cancer Support Groups and Education flyer.