Music therapy

What is it?

The use of music to improve health and wellbeing. A music therapist helps people engage with different aspects of music.

Why use it?

Music therapy can help people express themselves, feel more in control, focus on healing, feel less anxious, and simply enjoy themselves in the moment.

What to expect?

Music therapy is used in several cancer centres around Australia. You don’t need to be musical to participate or benefit. The way a music therapy session is conducted will depend on the needs of the participants. You may play instruments, sing or write lyrics, or you can simply listen to music and discuss how it affects you.

What is the evidence?

Some studies in people with cancer have shown that music therapy can improve quality of life and reduce side effects of treatment such as anxiety and nausea.

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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