Daryne Rockett, LCSW, CMP

Music for Healing
Daryne Rockett, LCSW, CMP
The Significance of Music
• Communicates both with lyrics and
beyond words
• Tells our stories
• Moves us to laughter, to tears, to dance
• Accompanies important ceremonies
• Provides a gateway to memories
Consider this piece of music.
Listen with your eyes closed and
allow it to tell you a story…
• What emotions did the piece evoke?
• What images come to mind?
• What story does it awaken in you?
What memories does this piece
evoke for you?
Now focus on the physiological
response in your body to this
piece of music…
• What did you notice your body doing?
• What did the music remind you of?
Healing Benefits of Music
• Reduces pain
• Increases oxygen levels in the blood
• Steadies respiration and heart rhythm
• Reduces anxiety and fear
• Reduces nausea
• Provides a focus different from hospital
• Boosts immune response
Pain Reliever with No Damaging
Side Effects
At St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, patients
in critical care units listen to classical
“Half an hour of music produced the same
effect as ten milligrams of valium.”
-Dr. Raymond Bahr
Director Coronary Care Unit
How does music heal?
• Distraction
• Entrainment
A loud repetitive sound sends a constant
signal to the cortex, masking input from
other senses like vision, touch, and smell.
Entrainment: To Seek and Match
• Heart Rate 60-80 Beats per Minute
• Breath
12-20 Breaths/Minute Waking
• Brain
6-8 Breaths/Minute Sleeping
Beta – Waking 15-40 Cycles/Second
Alpha – Daydreaming 9-14
Theta – Trance 5-8
Delta – Deep Sleep 1.5-4
Frequency of Vibrations
• High pitched sounds increase stimulation
• Low frequency sounds are grounding
Principles of the Music Practitioner
• Patient is the center of focus
• Intent to provide an environment for
• Whole person concept of mind, body,
spirit, and emotion
Holistic Health
“Outside of sleep, breathing, nutrition and
to some extent exercise. . . probably no
behavior comes close to the power and
diversity of music in eliciting
homeodynamic shifts."
-Mark Ryder
The Rhythmic Language of
Health and Disease
Why live music?
• Responsive to the changing state
of the patient
• Vibration of live instrument
• Human connection
Four Categories of Clients
• Acutely ill
• Chronically ill
• Children and Elders
• Actively Dying
Rhythmic music
All Styles
Familiar Music
Arrhythmic music
Music Thanatology
“The delivery of music has everything to do
with leading a patient from a feeling of
safety to openness and release.
“Letting go is some of the hardest work we
can do, either as a patient or as a
-Therese Schroeder-Sheker
Chalice of Repose Project
Vibrations and Cancer
The pictures above were taken while a xylophone was used over a
period of fourteen minutes playing the Ionian Scale (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D)
"The human voice carries something in its
vibration that makes it more powerful than any
musical instrument: consciousness….
…It appeared that the cancer cells were not
able to support a progressive accumulation of
vibratory frequencies and were destroyed."
-Fabien Maman
Case Studies
• Grieving Parent
• Alzheimer’s Unit
• Dialysis Patient
• WWII Nurse
Great Reading
• A Soprano on Her Head by Eloise Ristad
• The Art of Being a Healing Presence by
James Miller with Susan Cutshall
• The Power of Sound by Joshua Leeds
• The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell
• Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert
• Music is Healing by Dr. Frances le Roux
Music for Healing and Transition
I AM MUSIC; Most ancient of the arts. I am
more than ancient; I am eternal. Even
before life began upon this earth, I was
here in the winds and the waves. When
the first trees and flowers and grasses
appeared, I was among them. And when
people came, I at once became the most
delicate, most subtle and most powerful
medium for the expression of emotions…
…When people were little better than
beasts, I influenced them for their good.
In all ages, I have inspired people with
hope, kindled their love, given a voice to
their joys, cheered them on to valorous
deeds, and soothed them in times of
despair. I have played a great part in the
drama of life, whose end and purpose are
the complete perfection of human
…Through my influence, humankind has
been uplifted, sweetened and refined.
With the aid of mankind, I have become a
Fine Art; I have a myriad of voices and
instruments. I am in the hearts of all
people and on their tongues in all lands,
among all peoples; the ignorant and
unlettered know me, not less than the rich
and the learned…
..For I speak to all people in a language that
all understand. Even the deaf hear me, if
they but listen to the voices of their own
souls. I am the food of love. I have
taught gentleness and peace; and I have
led people to heroic deeds. I comfort the
lonely, and I harmonize the discord of
crowds. I am a necessary luxury to all.
Daryne Rockett, LCSW, CMP
(207) 947-3391
(207) 659-HARP