Music Therapy

Important Update

All music therapy services – individual, group sessions, and treatment center visits – will be on a temporary hold through summer with plans to resume in September 2020. For questions, please contact SCI’s Cancer Education Center at 206-386-3200.

Resources for stress reduction, healing and mindfulness

The Music Therapy (MT) Program at Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) offers complimentary individual and group music therapy to SCI patients, family members, and care partners.

Continue reading below to learn more about the MT program at SCI or contact Betsy Hartman (SCI’s music therapist) at or 206-386-6711 for questions, scheduling, and referrals.

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 MT 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 MT Help Me? 

Music therapy is a non-evasive 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 MT 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.

In the video below, Betsy Hartman, MT-BC, provides a simple meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

What Types of MT 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.

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.

MT During Cancer Treatment - 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 out Music Therapy program contact: Jeff Walker at or 206-386-3194.