Healing Muses Approach
Music has been used for healing purposes since ancient times. Medical research has both confirmed music’s power and assessed what improves its effectiveness. Our approach to healing music is grounded in a set of simple, research-based practices. From that starting point, we work closely with staff to support each location’s particular needs.
Research has shown that instruments with a broad register and distinct notes (plucked rather than bowed or blown) help lower noise volume and provide a measure of privacy; they do not compete with the human voice. Harps have an especially powerful and healing impact on heart rhythms. Instead of conflicting with them, our music protects conversations and emotions.
Continuity of Care
We train and employ a group of professional musicians who commit to a regular, dependable schedule. Each Muse becomes familiar with staff members and their protocols. Our Muses' commitment to repeated service enables them to focus on the music and healing, not on the musician. Patients, family and staff all benefit.
Established Training & Program Reviews
In order to qualify for Healing Muse work, our staff musicians must bring a memorized repertoire and professional level of musical skill. New musicians undergo an apprenticeship to ensure they present a calm, respectful demeanor at all times and are able to shift gracefully with immediate conditions. Staff musicians hold ongoing reviews with Healing Muses medical adviser, Bruce Victor, MD, to discuss the impact of repertoire, learn of recent research, and consult on particularly difficult care situations. Our review process ensures we continue to offer our clients and their patients the highest possible therapeutic value.
A normal Healing Muses engagement lasts two hours. We serve ICU, cardiac care, neonatal, surgery, oncology, hospice, and convalescent centers, among others. Our music reduces stress, lowers general noise levels, lifts morale and reinforces healing. To discuss options and cost for integrating us with your program of care, email ExecutiveDirector@healingmuses.org.
Music & Repertoire
Healing Muses' diverse repertoire consists of healing music from many cultural traditions including classical and folk. Music does not need to be familiar to provide peace, joy or comfort; the body responds to both the vibrations and the music's rhythm.
The primary criteria when assessing music for Healing Muses’ repertoire is the piece's ability to communicate a positive emotion or state to those listening.
Regardless of cultural tradition, certain rhythms and harmonies resonate and provide the energy or calm that a given situation requires.
As a rule, our musicians avoid dissonant music and focus on beautiful, simple melodies. Years of experience have taught that tuneful pieces attract the ear and steady rhythms calm.
Our musicians hold regular meetings to review engagements and repertoire with a focus on our healing impact. It is a pragmatic, practical form of research that supplements that of our medical advisers.
The special combination of musician, instrument and tune are key to any musical offering. Each Muse has favorite trusted pieces, those that best allow their particular instrument to speak and that serve that musician well in a given situation. If a particular piece shows consistent healing impact, the group will adopt it into our collective repertoire.