About CMTS

Creative Music Therapy Solutions is now over a decade old!! We have grown from a team of four to a team of fifteen.

Creative Music Therapy Solutions Inc., provides Music Therapists for permanent as well as temporary positions, working with clients in their homes and in established facilities.

Music Therapy in the Medical Field

By Lucy Cross, MTA

According to the Music therapy Association of BC’s 2015 Annual Report, there are only 22 Music Therapists working in hospitals in BC, compared to over 175 working with geriatrics, adults and children outside of the hospital setting. It seems there is a great need for more music therapists in Vancouver’s hospitals.

In a hospital setting, an accredited Music Therapist uses music to help patients manage and alleviate pain and anxiety, regulate emotions, facilitate self-awareness and self-expression, improve communication and personal relationships, and improve overall quality of life (Gutgsell et al. 2013; Raglio & Osai, 2015).

According to Chanda & Levitin (2013), music and sound influence vital signs and neurochemical systems that affect a person’s stress and arousal levels, perception of pleasure, reward and motivation, and the functioning of their immune system.

In a medical setting, music therapy has been shown to:

  • Reduce anxiety associated with medical procedures (reducing the need for anxiolytic medication and tranquilizers)
  • Decrease corticosteroid levels
  • Increase pain tolerance and/or decrease self-reported pain levels (reducing the need for analgesics)
  • Regulate breathing and increase blood oxygen levels
  • Decrease blood pressure in hypertensive patients
  • Enhance self-regulatory procedures
  • Improve motivation to comply with and finish treatment
  • Provide an element of autonomy and control for the patient
  • Offer a distraction from the hospital environment
  • Help patients cope with intense emotions in medical settings
  • Improve quality of life

(Delio-Maranto, 1993; Eyre, 2008; Zanini et al., 2009)

Music Therapists working in medical settings in BC are members of multidisciplinary teams and contribute to the non-pharmacological treatment of patients. They use a variety of receptive and active interventions, such as listening to pre-composed or improvised music, actively participating in pre-composed music, and participating in creative improvisation, composition and songwriting. Music Therapists in BC are working hard with MTABC to raise awareness of the valuable skills available for music in the medical field.