Music as Complimentary Therapy

The beneficial effects of music and sound are becoming recognized as a valuable complimentary therapy in western medicine, alternative health care and special education. Though researchers are still questioning how sound therapy works, there is scientific proof that music and sound can be effective for everything from reducing stress to easing pain and anxiety during surgical procedures.

Music has measurable physical effects on the body. Certain types of music may actually lower blood pressure and heart rate, regulate breathing, and lower cholesterol. For some individuals with hypertension and related conditions, music may be more powerful and safer than many prescription drugs.

Studies have shown some incredible effects music has on chronic pain. Suffering from back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and pain from injuries may be eased through using music. Burn victims seem to experience less pain when music is used during treatments. The cessation of pain can perhaps be attributed to music's ability to flood the nervous system with endorphins. Sound has beneficial effect on the nervous system. Music and sound may even stimulate the glandular system to help fight off infections.

Hospitals are beginning to utilize the combination of music and anesthesia in operations where routine medical sedatives are not effective. " Music is now used to reduce the pain and anxiety of patients undergoing dental treatment and surgical operations. In a study of 59,000 patients, 97% of patients stated that music really helped them to relax in the post-operative situation and during surgery in regional anesthesia. " 1

In addition to relieving anxiety and reducing stress, the use of music therapy in a clinical setting has the following potential benefits:

"Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
Positive changes in mood and emotional states
Active and positive patient participation in treatment
Decreased length of hospital stay

In addition, music therapy may allow for:
Emotional intimacy with families and caregivers
Relaxation for the entire family
Meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way." 2


Barbara Crowe, past president of the National Association for Music Therapy, says, "Music therapy can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, between isolation and interaction, between chronic pain and comfort, between demoralization and dignity." 3 Grief, loneliness, even anger are minimized when appropriate music is added to therapy.

"Gather Around Everyone, Let's All Sing and Hum"

Written by Maya

1. Harvey Arthur. Music in Attitudinal Medicine. in Campbell Don ed. Music: Physician for Times to Come. Quest Books. Illinois . p189. ISBN 0-8356-0668-6. 1991. Simon Heather. Healing Power of Sound.
2. Amrita Cottrell. The Role of Music and Sound in Healing from Cancer.

"I have been reading and singing Mari and Maya's book to my grandchildren, ages 3-1/2 and 20 months. The book has very quickly become a favorite book in the household. Even Sarah, who is 20 months and prone to temper tantrums hums along. Bumble Bee may be on of her first words. Thank you Mari and Maya for this gift of song and healing."
- Hollace L. Bristol Ed.D


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Current Events

Ronald McDonald House

Sing and Hum will be visiting two Ronald McDonald House's in the North Carolina Triangle area each month.  They will be in Chapel Hill on the first Wednesday and in Durham on the first Friday of every month to bring the inspiring music and message of Sing and Hum to the children and families.  Books and CD's will be donated to all who attend.

Ronald McDonald Houses
Chapel Hill and Durham, NC


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