Real Life Success Stories of Music Therapy

True Experiences and Reviews from Real Therapists and Patients

Music therapy is an innovative type of medical treatment. Music therapy can help individuals with several types of health conditions including everything from Autism Spectrum Disorder to Alzheimer's Disease. Although music therapy has been proven to benefit so many people, sometimes people have their skepticisms.

If you know or are someone that holds onto their skepticisms until you experience something groundbreaking, then this article is for you. This blog will share some real-life experience and success stories from music therapists and their patients.

Regardless of these stories, if you or someone you know would like to try music therapy, give it a try. We can’t promise that these success stories will be exactly like yours, but we know that music therapy is great at bringing a little bit of light into people’s lives. So without further ado, here are some groundbreaking success stories and reviews.

Cancer Music Therapy Reviews

Music therapy helps cancer patients live their life more comfortably, It also helps to increase mood and decrease levels of anxiety and depression. Because of the tremendous relief music therapy has provided to cancer patients, we will share two stories. Since being written, the patients in these stories have pasted, and the music therapist will be sharing her memories of them.

Mary’s Story

Mary’s story about her music therapy treatment is quite different from the others. Even before Mary started treatment, there was tension between her husband, and her four adult children. She chose not to share a lot of details, but those she did share sounded somewhat dark and tense. On the other hand, the thing that was bright and beautiful in her life, was her love for butterflies.

The music therapist decided to take the thing she loved most in life,  and write a song about it. In addition to the song, the topic of butterflies allowed them to discuss the ideas of transformation, forgiveness, and change. Eventually, Mary expressed to her therapist that she wonders if she would ever be able to transform. When the lyrics to the song were perfected to Mary’s liking, the therapist recorded it and made copies so Mary’s family could each have one.

Once the music therapist received the news about Mary’s passing, she was asked to perform the song at Mary’s funeral. The priest made a eulogy all about the song and how he believed Mary wanted to heal the broken relationships in her life. The music therapy that Mary received went truly beyond just helping her throughout her cancer journey. Although Mary wasn’t around to witness it, the relationships within her family that she left behind transformed.

young hands over top of older hands playing an instrument.
Music works in ways words don’t. The music in Mary’s story was able to fix relationships. Image courtesy of Harmony Music Therapy.

Jarod’s Story

Jarod's story is different from Mary’s in the sense that he passed at 27 leaving behind a girlfriend and daughters. His music therapist asked him to share a memory about a time when he felt alive. He described a memory where he was playing drums in the woods with his friends. This story revealed that Jarod had a past in music before his diagnosis of sarcoma.

After hearing about the amazing drum circle that was once created and made Jarod feel so alive, the music therapist wanted to recreate it for Jarod. Jarod was hesitant about recreating that same drum circle in a hospital room, but was proven wrong when it happened. The drum session was recorded so Jarod’s girlfriend and daughters would have it as a keepsake.

Before Jarod transferred to a hospice facility, he and his family felt the need to extend their gratitude by thanking the music therapist and saying goodbye one last time. Although Jarod didn’t survive his battle with sarcoma, his music legacy will live on through his recording that his family was able to keep. The music therapy treatment he received brought joy to his last few weeks on earth and endless comfort for his family.

Additional Music Therapy Reviews

Trevor’s Story

Trevor's success story began when he was working as a carpenter installing windows on the fourth floor. When Trevor fell, it was found that his loss of balance and confusion was the result of a stroke. During his recovery, Trevor suffered another stroke, underwent spinal surgery, and experimented with sub-acute rehabilitation.

With little hope left, Jarod was placed in an immobilizing body brace along with the inability to communicate due to the damage his vocal cords suffered. With assistance from a music therapist, Trevor began singing and writing his own music and songs. Trevor is currently working on producing his second album.

“Music is my inspiration, my escape from sadness and loneliness and pain. When I start to sing it opens up my mind and I think ‘there’s nothing I can’t do.'” - A review from Trevor

man in wheelchair singing on stage with live band
For those who suffer from immobilization, sometimes music is the best medicine. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Laura’s Story

Laura's story is about a young Inuit girl who had to relocate from her home in Canada to receive treatment for her illness. In addition to the language barrier, she was very shy but intrigued by her initial session. Once Ruth, the music therapist, learned that Laura's dad was a drum player, he was invited to the session where he and Laura both used instruments to play and sing songs of their native tongue.

Ruth was asked to take a video of Laura and her dad, for them to have as a keepsake. Unfortunately, Laura’s condition took a turn for the worse which caused her to end up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). During her time in the ICU, Ruth and her Dad sang songs of comfort while Laura laid there unconscious.  

Gradually, Laura was able to regain her strength and made an amazing recovery.

music therapist singing to baby in hospital crib
Music therapy in unconscious patients can bring great transformations. Image courtesy of YouTube.

Hopefully, these four real-life stories about how music therapy help transformed the lives of sick individuals and their families help to show how helpful this innovative treatment can truly be. In each story, the benefits from music therapy went beyond the conditions. It brought hope and comfort to their families, even after the person passed or regained strength.

If you or a loved one is interested in trying music therapy to write your own success story, reach out to Incadence.

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 17, 2021

Lydia Bernardo
Lydia enjoys playing piano and spending time outside.
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