“What can music possibly do here in a hospice?” said the Hospice Director on our first meeting.
I am sure that many of you recall music woven within your life experiences. My earliest memories are of music, and most of the powerful experiences in my life have centered upon music. For many years as a touring musician I witnessed how powerfully music affected audiences – whether they listened or danced, they were emotionally moved, physically involved and transported to a new consciousness.
My passion for music led me to study and master the healing effects of music and create music programs in hospices. I love playing in hospice because the need is great, and I witness miracles time and again. Patients and their families are calmed, pain is reduced, comfort increased, and I often hear from patient’s families how profoundly they experience the music I deliver at bedside. Six months after we began a music program, that same Hospice Director claimed that the music program was so successful that it was responsible for a very large increase in donations!
Years ago, nurses and staff members asked me for music that could be used 24/7 when I was not available. The more I traveled to various facilities, I was moved by the extreme need and such little resources available to meet those needs.
I began to teach caregivers how to choose and use specific types of music to comfort and shared my personal knowledge and experience on the science behind the music. Caregivers and volunteers learned how to be with others who are suffering, and how to choose and use therapeutic music. Soon healthcare facilities invited me to help their staffs understand and use music to improve patient experiences.
Pastors, chaplains, alternative healthcare practitioners, nurses, social workers, volunteers, and many at-home caregivers shared their new experiences using music to support their work. With that encouragement I expanded my travel and teaching. But there was always far more demand than I could possibly satisfy with a personal visit. And that was the inspiration for The Healer’s Visit, which brings together all my experience and knowledge in an easy-to-use online experience.
I believe music is a powerful, greatly overlooked modality for healing. Part of my mission is to refute the misinformation, smoke and mirrors, woo-woo pseudo-science and confusion around ‘healing music’ that prevents caregivers from using music. With simple understanding and guidelines, certain types of music can reduce pain and anxiety and improve patient experiences.
To learn more about how music heals, please share your email address. I promise only to send you interesting information about music and healing, recommendations for resources, and other cool music-related and caregiving items.
Please go here for a restful gift and to join our community.
Here you can listen to some of the music I have recorded for use with patients.
Book James Schaller for a consultation or event at [email protected]