Music Therapy

Music Therapy

"Music therapy is the planned use of music to assist the healing and personal growth of people across the lifespan with identified emotional, intellectual, physical and/or social needs” Music Therapy NZ, 2009.

Music therapy at Hospice Waikato
• Our music therapist is a member of the Family Services team working alongside Hospice Waikato’s team of nurses, doctors, social workers and counsellors.
• Music therapy is available for adults, children or young people with life-limiting illnesses or those who are experiencing grief and bereavement.
• New Zealand registered music therapists have master level qualifications and are trained to use special qualities of music to support their clients to achieve their individual goals.

How does music therapy help?
• Music therapy is based on evidence, it is found to be highly beneficial in palliative care, or when people are coming to terms with change in their lives through illness or bereavement.
• Music therapy can support a person with any physical, spiritual, cultural, social and emotional difficulties.
• Music therapy can help to relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety and also provide another means of communication for patients.
• At the end of life, music therapy can provide comfort and support for patients and their family/whānau.

What happens in a music therapy session?
• Music is played live by the music therapist with the patient/client using various instruments, and sometimes pre-recorded music is used.
• A session can be from 30 to 60 minutes.
• Sessions can occur weekly or fortnightly for short or long term therapy, for individuals or groups.
• Our therapist uses music in different ways, such as playing, singing, listening to or recording music, writing songs or using improvisation.
• Music therapy could be useful for those who especially like music but previous musical experience or playing instruments is not expected.
• The focus is not on providing entertainment, or learning or performing on instruments. The sessions are client-focused.

For any questions or to make a referral please contact Helen Dowthwaite, Registered Music Therapist at Hospice Waikato on 07 859 1260 or 0800 HOSPICE or email