Power of music to connect


music therapy

The power of music is undeniable. Whether you like dancing to the top hits or relaxing to the classics, music brings joy. It helps us relax and even helps “blow off steam” at the end of a long day. Music can invoke a range of emotions and be therapeutic by helping us relate to a story or shared experience.

The power of music is also something that extends beyond ourselves. It connects us to a memory, a distant place or moment in time, and links us to each other. Music has a lasting effect that can resonate even after a memory is long past.

“Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Anderson

Connecting people to their past and helping them share memories with loved ones before they die can bring great comfort. Recognizing the power of music, Kansas City Hospice offers expressive therapies like music and art in the services available to all families.

Express yourself when talking is difficult

Music and art help people express themselves when talking about things is difficult. They often help family members connect to each other. KCH board-certified music therapist Jesse Heilman shares the story of “Mary.”

She was a kind-natured 89 year-old woman with heart disease. And she loved to reminisce about her time singing at a Christian college in Japan.

Jesse shares, “During our first session together, she was overwhelmed with emotion and was tearful during the song ‘You Raise Me Up’.” It was clear that music had been important throughout Mary’s life.

Not only did music therapy help Mary talk about her faith, her childhood and the importance of her family, it helped her share a special bonding moment with her son. “We once discussed all the songs she used to sing to her son,” Jesse explains. “She shared that she had not really heard her son sing since he was a little kid.”

During a visit, her son joined with Jesse in singing ‘Amazing Grace’ to his mother, through tears. During one of her last sessions before Mary’s death, she spoke to Jesse. “You always play the songs that are so close to my heart.”

Although expressive therapy has clear emotional and therapeutic benefits, it’s not a fully-covered hospice benefit. Generous donors give the gift of music and art to KCH patients like Mary, helping them connect to their past and create new memories for their loved ones to cherish after they are gone.

About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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