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Care Options

Our Care Philosophy

Well-being is more than just physical health. It is about the whole person—mind, body and spirit. At Notre Dame Health Care, we are committed to promoting physical, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and social wellness through a range of holistic and diverse programs that enrich and enhance lives, encourage socialization, and provide meaning and purpose.

Music Therapy

Music as medicine.

Music Therapy is an integral component of the care we provide, to help accomplish individualized goals with the help of a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy certification program. It’s available to residents at Notre Dame Health Care, as well as adults and children receiving our palliative and hospice care services, whether they’re on the NDHC campus, in their personal home, or in another location that they call home.

During every session, the Music Therapists will always meet an individual where they are in their physical, mental, and spiritual journey, to ensure that the session is therapeutically tailored to the person’s specific goals, and their mood or state-of-mind on that day. Sessions can range from guided relaxation to music, to actively playing or singing. Every person has a deeply personal connection to music; this often leads to moments of life review and storytelling. Sometimes sessions may have no words at all, giving an individual the chance to express complicated thoughts and emotions on a deeper non-verbal level.


Like any therapeutic tool, Music Therapy is tailored to the individual. Some examples of the goals and benefits are:

  • Healthy expression and processing of emotions (both verbally and non-verbally)
  • Stress reduction
  • Pain management
  • Communication
  • Memory making/reminiscence
  • Legacy building: This is an expressive and creative way for an individual to leave behind a part of themselves for their loved ones through a recording. Special tracks are chosen by the individual which can be an original composition, a previously recorded song, or a special “HeartSong” which combines the individual’s heartbeat recorded with a favorite or meaningful song. The variations of legacy building projects are as numerous as the people we treat.

“Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

American Music Therapy Association

Frequently Asked Questions About Music Therapy at Notre Dame Health Care

Music therapy is available for any resident at Notre Dame Health Care, as well as for those receiving our palliative or hospice care services.

Yes, anyone who enjoys music can benefit from music therapy. An assessment is conducted to determine appropriateness of the service. Music therapy may not benefit everyone.

Yes and No. While entertainment is a part of the service, music therapy has the potential to offer so much more. We use entertainment to engage people so they can benefit from the other individualized goals that music therapists help meet.

The music therapist will choose music that facilitates expression, improves mood, or provides relaxation, but they are always careful to keep the needs and feelings of each individual and their family in mind, as well as the following:

  • Age of the individual
  • Cultural background
  • Religious beliefs
  • General music preferences
  • Individual or family requests
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