Licensing MusicI was recently reading an article and it talked about three applications for music:

  1. As “background” for an entire space/large area
  2. Customized for a specific place/area
  3. Individual listening.

I believe this is very applicable to the healthcare setting. For example, I see these three examples at Woodwinds Hospital where I volunteer:

  1. The piano by the fireplace is played almost every day over the lunch hour. This is an example of music in a large area. The pianist usually plays a variety of music to accommodate many different music tastes. It is common to hear visitors comment, “How wonderful it is to have live music every day!”
  2. An example of music in a specific place reminds me playing at several different nursing stations this past summer when the staff went through a stressful computer system conversion. This was customized music for each specific area.
  3. Playing live harp music for individual patients or giving a patient a PlayAway is an example of listening individually.

This same article mentioned research, “When healthy adults listened to 15 minutes of music they liked, their blood tests afterwards revealed higher levels of interlukin-1, a polypeptide hormone necessary to immunological reactions, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, both signs of stronger immunity.”

I believe this is rationale to be mindful about incorporating music as a healing modality in the healthcare setting in three different ways:  covering a large/open area, customizing for a specific location/purpose, and encouraging individual selections. What a goal for the Year 2015 and beyond!