Music Therapy

Music therapy helps patients, caregivers, and families. It is offered as part of our services.

Families and other caregivers are welcomed and encouraged to participate in music therapy sessions. Nothing is expected from the patient or family; they are simply asked to receive the music.

There is no cost to the patient or family for this service. Music therapy is included in our services.

Music therapists don’t play just one type of music. Most often, they will play live music on a guitar, keyboard or another instrument. Music therapists will utilize and learn the music that is most meaningful for your loved one, from old love songs of the early 1900s, to popular music of each generation.

Yes. Research supporting the benefits of music therapy can be found in a variety of medical, psychological, and hospice and palliative journals. You can find out more about music therapy by visiting the American Music Therapy Association’s website at

Meet Laura Helm, MT-BC

Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from The University of Iowa

Primary Therapy Instruments: Voice, Guitar, Buffalo Drum, and Ukulele

“When I was nearing graduation from high school, I was torn between wanting to enter into the medical field and my love for music. I only knew I wanted to help and to heal. My two passions finally collided when I heard about music therapy! After graduation from The University of Iowa, I completed my internship at On With Life, a brain injury rehab center in Ankeny, IA. As a result, I became so intrigued by the brain, and especially by the incredible affect music has to stimulate and awaken a skill or memory that was once seemingly lost.
I followed my fascination with the brain into the field of hospice. I derive such joy from being able to sit down with each one of my patients individually and create a shared and memorable experience through music. Whether my goal is to facilitate communication or aide in the grieving process, music is truly powerful when used as a tool for healing.”

Meet Crystal Berkenes, MT-BC

Bachelor of Music Therapy and Music Education, Wartburg College

Primary therapy instruments: Guitar, frame drum, harp, moyo drum, Native American flute, and ukulele.

“I learned about music therapy when I was in high school and was immediately inspired! I love the science and research that supports “how” and “why” music therapy can be so powerful and tailored specifically to individuals’ needs. Music therapy can positively impact someone with needs in a number of domains including emotional, social, cognitive, physical and spiritual. It’s truly wonderful and inspiring to experience, time and again, the amazing connections and positive experiences shared with patients, family, and caregivers!
I’m so excited to provide music therapy services with Hospice of the Midwest!”