Music Therapy.

Bringing Comfort Through Music at the End of Life

Yumiko Sato | Posted 26.12.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

Daniel was showing signs of "terminal agitation." People at the end of life often experience this state characterized by confusion and restlessness. As a hospice music therapist I had seen many patients in this state before.

Why I Became a Hospice Music Therapist

Yumiko Sato | Posted 22.11.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

Even though I had never seen anyone die or even been to a funeral, mortality seemed to be an inevitable part of life that had always been just under the surface. And it was not going away, whether I avoided talking about it or used the words other than "death" to describe it.

Is It Depressing to Work at Hospice?

Yumiko Sato | Posted 12.10.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

Is it depressing to work at hospice? As a music therapist specializing in hospice I've been asked this question many times before. I can understand ...

What Does It Mean to Be Musical?

Yumiko Sato | Posted 06.09.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

When I first became a music therapist many years ago, I worked with small children between the age of 3 to 5 in a community setting where both typical children and children with disabilities attended during the day. There were about 20 of them in the class. Half of them had disabilities, such as autism and Down Syndrome, while the other half did not.

Put Your Slippers in the Air, Like You Just Don't Care

Phil Evans | Posted 31.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Phil Evans

As I write this, about 80,000 Glastofarians are jumping up and down in unison to Sunday night headliners, Kasabian. I am a music therapist and they have reminded me, somewhat bizarrely, of an experience I had in a care home last week.

'I'm Thankful for My Illness' - Dying With ALS

Yumiko Sato | Posted 04.08.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

"I'm thankful for my illness," said Steve one day. I was shocked. Steve was a patient with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), one of the most awful illnesses I've ever seen in my work as a hospice music therapist.

Moving to Parkinson's Beat

Elaine Benton | Posted 21.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson's, I struggled to cope and understand the many strange symptoms that were coming at me fast and furious, as if from every direction. Unable to fall asleep at night, we tried all the usual "old wife's" remedies, but nothing seemed to work.

Do People Know When They're Dying?

Yumiko Sato | Posted 02.06.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Yumiko Sato

When I sang old tunes, such as "What a Wonderful World," Herb would calm down and smile. At the end of each song he clapped loudly, even though I told him he didn't have to do that. Through music we were able to make a meaningful connection. I thought this was a small miracle, but what followed was even more unexpected.

Where Everything Is Music

Stuart Wood | Posted 14.05.2014 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

We sing to, dance with and buy music because it matters to us. It matters usually because of how it makes us feel, but also who it connects us with, what tribes it creates. That interconnection both within us and between us is irresistible, I suspect increasingly, because just as more of life is becoming virtual, music can't not remain real.

The Power of Music Therapy

Beth Britton | Posted 29.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Beth Britton

What makes music so important to the aspiration of living well with dementia? To put it simply, music transcends dementia. Living with most forms of dementia, even in the latter stages, doesn't affect a person's ability to enjoy music, follow it and contribute to its creation.

Life - The Art of 'Making It Up'

Phil Evans | Posted 01.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Phil Evans

In my experience, care homes can be joyous, vibrant places. And re-injecting spontaneity back into the home can rapidly have a positive effect on the wellbeing of both individuals and the whole community.

The Sound of Music

Elaine Benton | Posted 25.02.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Elaine Benton

As ridiculous as this sounds, we started dancing around the lounge and kitchen, to the loud music and our uninhibited cavorting instantly lightened our mood. Moving to music is not only fun but highly beneficial, freeing up those stiff rigid joints and an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Something to Sing About

Stuart Wood | Posted 11.02.2014 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

My friend from Brazil tells me that much as he loves our traditional seasonal music, he feels it's always sad too. I think he has a point. Even in more recent Christmas songs there's a pang, isn't there? Note how it's always Cold Outside, the weather outside is frightful, and yet...if you really love me so... well then... the boys of the NYPD choir will still sing Galway Bay.

Redemption Songs: Music Beyond Medicine

Stuart Wood | Posted 27.01.2014 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

Medicine? Sure. Nursing? Yep. Rehab? Gotcha. But how exactly is music going to redeem this one? As a music therapist who has worked in exactly this situation for a long time, I can admit that not only have families asked me this, I've asked myself the question too.

Covers, Mash-ups and Samples: Who Owns Music?

Stuart Wood | Posted 13.11.2013 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

Before it was released, I heard a cover of Gaga's new single. Let's pause for thought a moment and think about that. It was a heavy metal version, denounced by the twitterati as a blasphemous offence to metal - not to the performer who'd had her song nicked.

The Fine Art of Accompaniment: How Is Music a Model for Living?

Stuart Wood | Posted 12.10.2013 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

It's one of the exciting parts of being a music therapist that you can dive into playing music with someone and discover (often along with them) that they can be vastly different when playing music compared with how they are in their regular life.

All My Single Ladies: In Praise of Newness

Stuart Wood | Posted 14.09.2013 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

"Look my darling, I'm 90 years old. These musicians come here, and they play old things, always old. I don't want to look back anymore. We're alive NOW. So play me something totally new. Play some pop. Like Adele, but not so miserable."

Rihanna: The Secret Weapon in the Battle Against Dementia

Phil Evans | Posted 21.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Phil Evans

When we lose our memory through old age or dementia, we are no longer able to access the stories of our life, the experiences that shaped us. At this point, the music that helped to define us once again becomes one of the most important things - indeed perhaps, the most important thing we have.

Celebrate Good Times: Come on!

Stuart Wood | Posted 14.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Stuart Wood

We all use music to help us get through life, and to enhance its good bits. What music therapists are good at is bringing that power of music to people who - for many reasons - can't claim it for themselves. Nordoff Robbins might deserve celebrating too, for growing this use of music, protecting it, and perhaps for reminding us what music is really there for.

What Is Music Without Silence?

Phil Evans | Posted 06.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Phil Evans

Silence, perhaps counter-intuitively, is one of the most powerful tools in a music therapist's armory. Because through the journey from silence into music and back again, comes meaning. And often our job as music therapists is to help clients find a balance between the two; for example with clients on the autistic spectrum.

Even Labrinth Can Learn Something About The Power Of Music

Andy Welch | Posted 25.06.2013 | UK Entertainment
Andy Welch

On Tuesday, I accompanied Labrinth to the Nordoff Robbins centre near Kentish Town. He too didn't know much about the charity but was keen to get involved. What I saw in the music room, after the two therapists had introduced themselves and eked interaction out of the students, was mesmerising.

Lack of Routine, Too Much Creativity, a Mental Health Condition... You're in Butlins

Kerry Hudson | Posted 21.10.2012 | UK Lifestyle
Kerry Hudson

I haven't met many people with mental health problems who aren't in some way or other creative, we naturally question everything, perhaps to obsessiveness sometimes, and spiral off in different directions looking for alternative conclusions, very much like the artist's mind.

Author's YouTube Hit Shows Power Of Music On The Elderly

The Huffington Post UK | Sam Parker | Posted 11.06.2012 | Home

Our favourite YouTube hit this week is an inspiring clip from a new film called Alive Inside. Racing towards a million views and circulating quickl...

Under My Skin: Sinatra 'Eases Stress Of Surgery'

The Huffington Post UK | Georgia James | Posted 28.03.2012 | UK Lifestyle

Playing music to patients when they go under the knife reduces their anxiety during surgery and could even aid their recovery, according to a new stud...

Could Music Help Treat Depression? | Posted 01.10.2011 | UK Lifestyle

If you turn on the radio when you want to cheer yourself up, you may have the right idea according to a new study. Scientists in Finland carried ou...