Music Therapy Literature

Here you will find resources for music therapy textbooks, peer-reviewed journals, research articles, and where to access music therapy literature.

Music Therapy Textbooks

  • Defining Music Therapy: Kenneth Bruscia 
  • Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Mental Health: Lillian Eyre 
  • Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Adult Medical Care: Joy Allen 
  • Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Developmental Health: Michelle Hintz 
  • Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Pediatric Care: Joke Bradt 
  • Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy: Michael Thaut   
  • Guide for the New Music Therapist’s Handbook: Suzanne Hanser  
  • Clinical Training Guide for the Student Music Therapist: Donna Polen 
  • Music Therapy: A Fieldwork Primer: Ronald Borczon

Music Therapy Journals

Research Articles

Receptive Music Therapy for Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit

Authors: Golino, Amanda & Leone, Raymond & Gollenberg, Audra & Gillam, Amy & Toone, Kristelle & Samahon, Yasmin & Davis, Theresa & Stanger, Debra & Friesen, Mary Ann & Meadows, Anthony.

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Background: Live music therapy provided by a board-certified music therapist reduces anxiety, decreases pain, and improves the physiological response of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Objectives: To examine the effect of live music therapy on the physiological parameters and pain and agitation levels of adult ICU patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Methods: A total of 118 patients were randomly assigned to live music therapy or standard care. The music therapy group received 30 minutes of live music therapy tailored to each patient’s needs. The Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale and the Critical Care Pain Observation Tool were completed by critical care nurses immediately before and after each session, and the patients’ heart rates, respiratory rates, and oxygenation levels were measured. Results: Patients who received live music therapy had significantly different scores on the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (P < .001) and the Critical Care Pain Observation Tool (odds ratio, 6.02; P = .002) compared with the standard care group. Significant differences between groups were also reported in heart rate (P < .001). No significant differences were found in oxygen values. Conclusions: Live music therapy significantly reduced agitation and heart rate in adult patients receiving mechanical ventilation in the ICU. These findings provide further evidence for the benefits of music therapy in the ICU, including in intubated patients. 

Impact of an Active Music Therapy Intervention on Intensive Care Patients

Authors: Golino, Amanda & Leone, Raymond & Gollenberg, Audra & Christopher, Catherine & Stanger, Debra & Davis, Theresa & Meadows, Anthony & Zhang, Zhiwei & Friesen, Mary Ann.

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Background: Nonpharmacological interventions appear to benefit many patients and do not have the side effects commonly associated with medications. Music-based experiences may benefit critical care patients. Objective: To examine the effect of an active music therapy intervention on physiological parameters and self-reported pain and anxiety levels of patients in the intensive care unit. Methods: A study was conducted using a pretest-posttest, within-subject, single-group design. The study population consisted of a convenience sample of 52 patients. Study participants received a 30-minute music therapy session consisting of either a relaxation intervention or a “song choice” intervention. The music therapist recorded the patients’ vital signs before and after the intervention, and patients completed self-assessments of their pain and anxiety levels before and after the intervention. Results: After the intervention, significant decreases (all P < .001) were found in respiratory rate (mean difference, 3.7 [95% CI, 2.6-4.7] breaths per minute), heart rate (5.9 [4.0-7.8] beats per minute), and self-reported pain (1.2 [0.8-1.6] points) and anxiety levels (2.7 [2.2-3.3] points). No significant change in oxygen saturation level was observed. Outcomes differed between the 2 intervention groups: patients receiving the relaxation intervention often fell asleep. Conclusions: The results of this study support active music therapy as a nonpharmacological intervention in intensive care units. This study may lay the groundwork for future research on music therapy in critical care units using larger, more diverse samples. 

Effects of Live Music on the Perception of Noise in the SICU/PICU: A Patient, Caregiver, and Medical Staff Environmental Study 

Authors: Rossetti, Andrew & Loewy, Joanne & Chang-Lit, Wen & van Dokkum, Hanneke & Baumann, Erik & Bouissou, Gabrielle & Mondanaro, John & O’Connor, Todd & Asch-Ortiz, Gabriela & Mitaka, Hayato.

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Intensive Care Units (ICUs) require a multidisciplinary team that consists of, but is not limited to, intensivists (clinicians who specialize in critical illness care), pharmacists and nurses, respiratory care therapists, and other medical consultants from a broad range of specialties. The complex and demanding critical care environment provides few opportunities for patients and personal and professional caregivers to evaluate how sound effects them. A growing body of literature attests to noise’s adverse influence on patients’ sleep, and high sound levels are a source of staff stress, as noise is an ubiquitous and noxious stimuli. Vulnerable patients have a low threshold tolerance to audio-induced stress. Despite these indications, peak sound levels often register as high, as can ventilators, and the documented noise levels in hospitals continue to rise. This baseline study, carried out in two hospitals’ Surgical and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, measured the effects of live music on the perception of noise through surveying patients, personal caregivers and staff in randomized conditions of no music, and music as provided by music therapists through our hospital system’s environmental music therapy program. 

Where To Purchase

Music Therapy Buy, Sell, Trade: This Facebook group is a community for therapists to sell, buy, and trade used textbooks, instruments, and more.

JSTOR: Many colleges and universities will have access to this digital library, which includes many textbooks and academic articles.