"You know what music is?
God's little reminder that there's something else besides us in the universe:
harmonic connection between all living beings,
everywhere, even the stars."
– Robin Williams
What is expected of the patient or client receiving live therapeutic music?
The patient or client doesn’t need to do or say anything. They can just be. I will watch and observe, tailoring my music to the patient, the client, you.
Many studies have shown that live therapeutic music is beneficial even to those unconscious or comatose.
Hospital Patient and Nursing Home Resident Quotes:
These are only a very small sampling of the quotes and experiences I have had at the bedside of the recuperating, the ill and the dying. I have worked with live therapeutic music with hundreds of patients and find it the most gratifying and humbling work I have ever done.
* Names are not included to protect the identity of patients/residents and to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules and regulations.
“You have a beautiful voice. I hope you sing professionally somewhere. What a lovely way to start the day. And a lovely send off to rehab! I’m sure you make many people very happy. You need that in this place,” said a middle-aged patient.
“That’s very therapeutic. It took me to another place,” said a middle-aged patient.
“You have a beautiful voice, a God-given gift. Thank you so much. You’ve perked my spirits. Now my hip doesn’t hurt so much,” said a geriatric patient.
“I started to visualize. I saw my Dad. I haven’t thought of him in a long time. I am having a hard time now, but this helped. I am very touched. I cannot say how much this helped; how deeply I am touched. Your singing is a gift for me. Thank you. God bless.”
While singing for a patient in ICC, her doctor came in, and just stood smiling. He said, “I’m done with my work here. You’re getting the meds I prescribed and you’re better. You’re going home today. What she (the Resident Therapeutic Musician) has is what you need now.”
On the day I started at a particular hospital, the Spiritual Care Director took me around and introduced me, showing me the little signs used to signify 'comfort care'. When we walked into that first room, she said, "I think he's passed. Let me get the nurse."
I started to sing and he exhaled for his last time. There was incredible Peace and Light.
“Please don’t be a stranger. Come again and sing to me. It is so beautiful,” said an elderly patient.
A middle-aged patient in pain said, “That’s heaven. Now I really feel totally relaxed. If I were lying down, I would have fallen asleep. I feel so much better.”
“You’re incredible. What you did made me feel so much better,” said a middle-aged patient.
“Beautiful. I could listen to you all day. You are a God-send,” said an elderly patient.
When I walked into the room, the middle-aged patient said, “I’ve had a very bad day. I’m in a lot of pain.”
As I sang for her, her eyes started to close and she seemed to be nodding off. Afterward, she said, “That was awesome! So relaxing, I almost fell asleep. That was so nice. I feel much better now.”
“I love your passion. It’s incredible. Makes me feel a lot better. It really made a difference last time you were here too,” said an ICU patient.
“That’s lovely. So relaxing. Amazing. I feel so much better. Probably helped me more than my mother! When something happens and you’re in here… but you’re so soothing. It (the music) relaxes you. Lovely. Thank you,” said the daughter of an elderly patient.
A post-op patient told me, "Thank you SO much for singing to me. Your voice and presence are like an Angel! Your voice was so healing and calming for my body, mind and spirit. Each time you hummed, I could feel the stress and discomfort all alleviate. I am so grateful for you!"
An elderly patient told me, “You’re an angel.”
A patient had been crying for a very long time, and her roommate had to be moved to another room, as she was upset with her and in very deep grief. I came into this after hours of distress. One of her nurses said, “You’re singing is very soothing. It really helped. It calmed her down and she almost stopped crying when you were at the foot of her bed. She’s much better now. “
“God’s given you your voice. That’s God’s music. I feel much better now,” said an elderly cardiac patient.
“You do have a wonderful voice, and you do a wonderful service,” said a middle-aged patient.
A new mother said, “I need to leave for an appointment, but I feel so much better going knowing that you’re here singing to my baby.”
An elderly patient said, “Beautiful voice. You have a gift. Music is God’s gift and you have it. We are blessed to hear you, and you are blessed to have it.”
An older patient with water on her lungs, “Very beautiful. It relaxes me.”
A patient was anxious to go home, when I started, he said, “Beautiful voice. I can tell you’re trained. You sang on the stage? Theater? Musical Theater?”
A pastor visiting his congregant said, “Very nice rich voice. Soothing. Wow.”
An elderly patient noted with approval, “What good things they think of to help us feel better.”
“O God, that’s beautiful. Thank you. O God,” said an elderly patient.
“Why are you singing for me? You should be singing in some place better than this,” said an elderly patient. “I’m here to sing for you,” I answered as I continued with Therapeutic Music.
“I’m 95 years old and have been in many hospitals. I’ve never had this. Very nice touch,” she said when our session finished.
As I began to sing, the Special Care Nursery Nurse said, “Thank you.”
“Beautiful song. O! So uplifting, so relaxing.”
“This is a nice thing that you do, bringing comfort. Thank you,” a middle-aged patient said.
“This is the first time this has ever to me in all the times I’ve been in a hospital. I really truly appreciate it,” said an elderly patient.
“I feel so relaxed now; it sounds so beautiful.”
“Can you stay?” asked an elderly patient.
A blind senior patient in pain said, “You remind me of Mantovani! I didn’t have a good night and couldn’t sleep. Your voice is very soothing. It gives me goosebumps.”
“I am very grateful. You made my week,” said a patient in his 60’s.
“How calming! Very therapeutic. Very beautiful. I am flattered that you’d sing for me. I can’t sing a tune. Yours are beautiful, “ said a patient with rheumatoid arthritis.
“It’s people like you that do good,” said a middle-aged patient.
“I’ve had a lot of anxiety being here these past few days but your songs relaxed me. I feel better now,” a middle-aged patient said.
“So relaxing. It took my mind off of it (the pain). I can take a nap now,” said a young women
“You’ve got the pipes! Very nice!” said an elderly patient.
“I feel better. The pain is actually less.”
“I feel like those are muted pipes! Lovely sound, I want to hear it all,” said a young patient.
“Very pretty; very relaxing; soothing,” said a patient with chronic back pain.
A patient in ICU said, “Very good. I wish I could applaud, but I can’t. You were wonderful. Thank you.”
A patient with a full knee replacement said, “ You have a really beautiful voice. I feel like I’m being sung to an angel. So peaceful. I could fall asleep.” Then he did.
“You have a lovely voice, especially for singing acapella. So beautiful. You’re very uplifting.”
“It’s nice to have someone like you in the hospital. It makes a real difference,” said an older patient.
“I thought you were going to come in and sing a song, but what you did was so much nicer. Very lovely. Very soothing. I’m sure she heard it and enjoyed it. Thank you very much,” said the niece of a comfort care patient.
“I’m relaxed now. Thank you, “ said a middle-aged patient who had pain.
“Thank you for coming. I really enjoyed that (singing). It’s a nice ministry,” said a post-op patient.
“He calmed down with your visit,” said the family of a comfort care patient.
A patient in his 60’s said, “It was very nice, very soothing. It puts me in a different place, not here in the hospital with all the beeps and loud noises. I’m very relaxed now.”
A newborn had been crying for about 30 minutes. When I sang to him, he immediately turned his head towards me. Slowly, he stopped crying.
The Birthing Center Nurses smiled and said, “That’s amazing.” “He’s finally stopped!” “Thank God!”
The Pediatrician said, “That is amazing!”
Then the nurse apologized because now she had to give the newborn shots and he would be upset again. As he began to wail, I continued singing. He gradually stopped, relaxing into his father's hands.
A patient in his 60’s said I could sing for him, continuing, "I love music, but I can't get anything good on the radio anymore. It's just all junk."'
As I sang a song from his youth, he slowly wiped away tears. I asked him if he was all right. He said, ‘It brings back memories, good memories.” And he touched his heart. I asked if he wanted more, and he eagerly nodded yes.
As I continued, his eyes teared up and he smiled, saying, “Boy, I wish I could give you a million dollars.”
I told him that I was honored to sing for him. The next time he said this, I told him that what he was giving me was enough. He smiled fully then and relaxed, lying back on his bed, touching his heart and smiling.
When I was done, he told me, “I’ll take this to my grave."
When I saw him later that day, he smiled saying, "I know I’ll be alright now.”
A patient in his 90’s was incoherent and barely responsive, kicking off his sheets. As I sang for him, a lab tech and nurse came in. Both needed to hold him so the tech could draw blood. Slowly the patient became more cooperative as I sang.
As he finished his work, the lab tech asked if I was singing opera. When I said no, he responded, “Well, it’s very soothing.”
The nurse said of her patient, “It’s nice to see a positive response. It’s been tough.”
The wife of an 83 yo patient with malignant neoplasm said, "That was lovely. What a wonderful therapy."
“Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Where did you get that voice? It could have only come from God. What a gift! I don’t know how you do it, singing that way so quietly. You could have been out somewhere singing (on stage), but instead, you’re in here singing. You’re giving so much pleasure to so many people. Thank you so much. It’s a hard transition to be here (in the hospice at the nursing home), but your singing is so soothing, I feel much better.” – 80 yo nursing home resident
“You bring so much beauty which cannot be touched or seen. As Helen Keller said, ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.’ You do that. You bring beauty here that we aren’t privileged to have otherwise. Thank you.” – a nursing home resident
After wishing an elderly nursing home resident a Happy New Year for Rosh Hashanah, I improvised for her. When I was done, she said, “That was just like I was in Temple.”
An 89 yo patient in renal failure said, "Your music is beautiful."
A 95 yo patient with failure to thrive said, "That was nice. It put me to sleep. You made me feel good."
A patient was in labor. Her husband was with her. Little by little, her rocking slowed as I sang, and she relaxed in between contractions. Her husband said, “It’s helping me feel better. I know it’s helping her.”
A patient in her 80’s on precautions said, “People are privileged to hear you. It’s a wonderful thing you do. Magical”
A patient in her 40’s in post-op care said as she wiped her eyes, “Music is very powerful.”
A patient in her 90’s said, “Boy, I sure needed that song today. I sure needed that song. The day just got a whole lot brighter!”
A nursing home resident said, “To be sung those songs, by someone who can make you feel them, well, I got goosebumps.”
A patient in her 80’s said, “You’re happy doing this, aren’t you? It shows. You make a lot of people happy. I just had some bad news but your coming in was the flip side of the coin. Calm, serene. I haven’t slept in days but now, I can think about sleeping. I was anxious before. Now I’m not.”
A patient in his 30’s with severe pain told me before he fell asleep, “That’s so beautiful. I haven’t been this relaxed since I’ve been here [in the hospital].”
A patient in her 40’s with knee and mobility problems said, “That’s the most relaxed I’ve felt in the 3 days since I came here [to the hospital].”
A nursing home resident in his 90’s said, “[Your singing] is the most beautiful thing that’s ever happened to me.”
A patient in her 50’s said, “My heart hurts because I thought I’d be going home.” And she proceeded to cry. When I was done, she told me, “That was beautiful. I actually do feel much better now.”
A patient in her 60’s who had gone in for a routine knee replacement that ran into multiple complications said, “I almost didn’t make it. I could cry, that [music] makes me feel so good,” and then she did cry, adding “That was moving, healing, peaceful, spectacular, all those good things.”
A patient in his 90’s with diabetes told me not to sing for him because he was in too much pain. As I left the room, he began to moan more loudly so that he could be heard down the hall. I went to find his nurse and asked her if I could sing for him to perhaps relieve his pain. She responded, “Yes. I heard you sing for someone a while ago. It helped a lot that day.” Five minutes later, she apologized that she had to do interrupt. When she came out of his room, she told me that he was more relaxed, so I waited until she was done with her work, and sang for him some more. Fifteen minutes later, he appeared to be close to sleep and I left.
A patient in her 80’s said, “You made me cry because it was so beautiful.” Her daughter found me later and said, “My mother really enjoyed your visit today. It was wonderful.”
A patient in her 30’s said, “I had a little bit of pain, but you started singing and it went away. I was mesmerized. You gave me goose-bumps.”
A patient in his 70’s was smiling, laughing and happy. He said, “That was very nice of you, besides having a beautiful voice!”
A patient in his 60’s with dementia told me, “O gosh, you’ve really brightened my day.”
A patient in her 80’s with back pain told me she loved my singing. She said after our last session, the music stayed with her, soothing her to sleep.
A patient in her 70’s with depression said, “You brought me so much joy, thank you. My cheeks are hurting, I’ve been smiling so much.”
The wife of a 50 yo patient with pain said, “It was so nice. The therapeutic musician came in and sang my husband to sleep.”
A patient in her 50’s with pain thanked me and said that she saw the angel’s wings behind my back and that I was a blessing.
A patient in her 20’s with pain said, “O my God, it’s as if you have a microphone. It’s so nice. I’m relaxed now.”
A patient in his 50’s in post-surgical pain said, "It's very relaxing. Thank you. You made my day."