Music Therapy can assist in your recovery and promote a better quality of life during your hospital stay. 

Julia with a music therapy clinician

Music Therapy can help you deal with stress, discomfort, pain and other symptoms. It is also used to help you recover your speech after an injury or stroke. Our music therapy program is centered around original song writing, live music and guided relaxation. You do not need to be musical to benefit from music therapy.

“Music therapy took me out of myself, out of my body, the room, out of the ward. It allowed me to soar out beyond the hospital walls and towards life”

Julia, RMH Patient

What we do

Comforting

Patients and their families have regular access to music therapy sessions that include live music, guided relaxation and ongoing therapeutic support during of their hospital treatment.

“Hospital can be a frightening and isolating place and necessary treatment can cause pain and distress. Music can help. When I play a patient their favorite song at their bedside I see the colour come back to their cheeks, their eyes light up and they slowly begin to smile”.

Music therapist in acute care

Creating

In our award winning songwriting program patients are guided through a process that results in a song with their own personal lyrics and original music. Once this song is completed the patient and their families then have the opportunity to record the song in our music therapy studio which is on site at RMH.

"I got to say things to people in my song that I wouldn’t normally say to them in person."

Leukemia patient

Restoring

A patient and her daughter with a music therapy clinician

After suffering from a stroke many people cannot communicate clearly. They can be frustrated and may often experience high levels of stress and depression as a stroke can occur out of the blue and without warning.

We know that the brain processes music differently from speech, so often people who cannot speak can still sing. In music therapy we are able to support patients in their language recovery using singing. Music also helps to lift their mood and alleviate stress.

“I never thought that I would be able to sing but the music therapy gives me the energy to use all my senses and to keep optimistic about my recovery”

Margaret - stroke patient and young mother of three

Engaging

School students performing for the RMH Live Music Festival

Engaging in youth wellbeing - The Royal Melbourne Hospital has an established Live Music Festival. During this festival week in May, the hospital’s halls, stairwells and entrances are filled with live music performances from hundreds of school students.

The students also attend workshops on the role of music in their own health and wellbeing. Every year we are flooded with wonderful stories and feedback from patients, staff, visitors, students and teachers.

‘Playing in this festival makes me feel like I’m really changing someone’s day for the better. When I look up and I see a patient in a wheelchair tapping their feet to my music I feel like I’ve really made a difference today.’

Secondary school music student

Uplifting

Music therapy provides the music in health program. This program provides live music around the general hospital areas and hallways to uplift the hospital environment for all. This music in health program includes heath musicians who are supported by philanthropist Mrs. Barbara Haynes, volunteer musicians and the RMH staff choir.

Who can use our services

Music therapy is provided in the following units at RMH:

  • Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
  • Clinical Haematology Service
  • Palliative Care Unit
  • Neurology and Stroke Unit

In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.