Therapeutic music is good for the soul by Kirk Moore


written by Kirk Moore

Therapeutic music is good for the soul.  

But not only.  

I’m a musician. A guitarist. And I play music to help create a healing environment in hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, in yoga classes, and in behavioral health treatment centers.

Some would say what I do is magic.  It’s not magic.  There’s science behind it. Therapeutic music is not a performance for entertainment, but rather a service that helps to create a healing environment. Most often I play soft, slow music at 50-70 beats per minute.  Other times the music is loosely metered. Still other times it needs to be without any discernible rhythm or pattern. And overall, here’s what therapeutic music can do.

  • It can reduce blood pressure
  • It can relieve anxiety
  • It can calm and regulate heartbeat and respiration
  • It can reduce body and muscle tension
  • It can augment pain management
  • It can provide time for contemplation
  • It can promote a feeling of well-being and peace

Therapeutic music can be beneficial to those who are agitated, restless, apprehensive, crying, have high blood pressure or low oxygen saturation, or who are tense or in pain. And  those who are acutely ill or injured, chronically ill, critically ill, those suffering from dementia, premature babies, and even patients receiving dialysis have found music helpful.

Through the training of the Music for Healing and Transition Program, I’ve learned, as a certified music practitioner, to utilize music to help create healing in ways like these.  I’ve seen first hand the immediate effect music has on people. I’ve been able to have conversations with people who have been suffering with speech aphasia. The music has helped IVs go in. And I’ve experienced a complete change the energy in a room of people who are living with anxiety and depression.

And all the while I play the music does the same for me.  It truly is good for the soul.  

But not only.

Kirk Moore is a guitarist, vocalist, and a certified music practitioner, (CMP).  He’s also the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, IL and a member of the executive board of the UCC Mental health Network. Find out more about therapeutic music here.