Music Therapy at RUSH

Our professionals use music to help patients heal.
Our professionals use music to help patients heal.

The hospital can be an overwhelming place. Loud, strange sounds combined with the presence of strangers and the stress of being sick can make it difficult to relax — a vital part of healing.

Music therapy can be one tool that helps you recover and leave the hospital sooner.

The music therapy program at RUSH is a structured, evidence-based program. Our music therapist works closely with patients to understand their needs.

Then, the music therapist creates a plan using music (including listening to, writing, creating, singing, or dancing to music) to help you reach your goals. Some goals of music therapy might include reduced stress, lowered agitation, better memory, or improved mood.

What is music therapy?

A music therapist works with you to figure out how making music, listening to music, singing, or dancing to music could help you with your health goals.

  • Songwriting and lyric analysis
  • Playing an instrument or singing along to music
  • Guided meditation
  • Dancing or movement during music
  • Deep breathing & muscle relaxation techniques to music

What is a music therapist?

Our music therapist has years of education and training. She works closely with patients to understand their needs and goals. Then, using her training, she creates a treatment plan that uses music (including the kinds of music the patient likes) to meet those goals. A music therapist may also work with other clinicians to create a treatment plan.

Why is music therapy different from just listening to music?

The difference between enjoying music and music therapy is like the difference between exercise and physical therapy.

Just like exercise, music does good things for your overall health and mood.

However, a physical therapy program uses specific exercises to help you recover. Your physical therapist has years of training and education. They examine you, the patient, to create a specific plan.

The music therapy program also takes your individual problems and uses music to help improve them. Our music therapist has years of training and education to know how to use music to help her patients. And she works closely with patients to create a detailed plan and track progress.

How can music therapy benefit me during my hospital stay?

You don’t have to be a musician or musically inclined to benefit from music therapy. There’s plenty of evidence about how music therapy helps patients cope with hospitalization and illness.

  • Have lowered stress levels, including lowered anxiety and fewer physical signs of stress during surgery
  • Reduce the overall length of their hospital stay
  • See improved mood, movement, and memory while recovering from a stroke
  • Have improved vocal loudness and more organized movements while living with Parkinson’s disease,
  • Increase children and families’ ability to cope with stress of hospitalization and new, unfamiliar experiences
  • Have shorter NICU stays and increased weight gain.

How can I learn more about music therapy at RUSH?

Right now, music therapy works with inpatient teams. For more information, contact our music therapist Clare Takash, MM, MT-BC.

How can I support the music therapy program at RUSH?

If you would like to support the music therapy program, contact Clare Takash.

Learn more about music therapy