Healing One Tune at a Time

July 10, 2024

We enjoy listening to music. We may even enjoy playing a musical instrument. However, we often don’t take the time to think about how music can benefit our lives and our overall health. 

But it can, and Middlesex Health Cancer Center recognizes this. With philanthropic support from the community, the Cancer Center offers free virtual music therapy sessions to individuals with cancer.

Music therapy is the use of music or elements of music, such as sound, rhythm and harmony, to help manage a range of conditions and improve your quality of life. Music therapy can help to improve coping, reduce stress and anxiety, modify mood and improve socialization, and there are statistics to prove it. In the context of health care, music therapy complements other forms of treatment for people with a variety of conditions, including cancer.

Coping with a cancer diagnosis and going through cancer treatment is both an emotional and physical experience. People with cancer may experience depression or anxiety and often need emotional and spiritual support. That’s how music therapy can help. It can help reduce anxiety and provide a means of expression that may go beyond words. It can also help individuals cope with the physical side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea caused by chemotherapy. 

Music therapy sessions are individualized. When you participate in music therapy, a certified music therapist will help you define your goals for therapy, and they will design a session based on your needs, music preferences and experiences, as well as available materials. For example, therapy sessions may include singing, playing instruments and writing music. It may also include listening to music and talking about its meaning. 

The best part: no talent is required! Anyone can participate regardless of their skill level or background.

Following music therapy sessions, which may last up to 60 minutes, your certified music therapist will evaluate the effectiveness of the session and determine if your goals were met. Multiple sessions may be helpful.

To learn more about music therapy at Middlesex Health Cancer Center, or to schedule a session, contact Heather Wagner, a board-certified music therapist with Middlesex Health at health.wagner@midhosp.org or 860-550-4884..

Featured Provider

Heather Wagner, PhD, MT-BC, FAMI


  • Westbrook, CT
  • Middletown, CT

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