How music therapy helps treat cancer patients at Spectrum Health

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Music therapy was originally used to help special needs children in the United States. Since the 1940s, music therapy has expanded to treat cancer patients, hospitalized children and adults, and palliative care and hospice patients.

Spectrum Health Cancer Center's music program has partnered up with the Grand Rapids Symphony to promote healing and wellness in the mind, body, and spirit through interacting with live music.

Music therapy uses clinical and evidence-based music interventions that address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of the patients. After finding the strengths and needs of the patients, music therapists provide treatment which could include creating, singing, moving to, and listening to music.

Throughout the program, patients can interact with the musicians and music therapist while enjoying live music. The music in their therapy program is specifically written to address relaxation, imagery, moon and emotions, and to support the needs of cancer patients.

Music therapy can help patients:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

There's a concert at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion on July 19 as part of the music therapy program. The concert will focus on hope and healing through live music and therapeutic experiences.

The concert starts at 6 p.m. and  is open to the public. For more information on the concert and to RSVP, call (616) 267-2049.


If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like a second opinion or consultation, please call 1-855-742-2623.

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