Music Therapy

Music therapy at ONJ is a research-based healthcare service where music is used to actively support your physical, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Music has non-verbal, creative, structural and emotional qualities that can be used in different ways to support you. Our registered music therapists will help you identify how music might be most helpful to you to support your health and wellbeing.

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What are the details?

Music therapy is available in individual and small group sessions across the ONJ Centre and online. Patients and their families can participate in music therapy by listening to and discussing music, writing a song, singing, learning to playing an instrument, or participating in activities such as music relaxation, or imagery and music. 

Music therapy can connect you with others and encourage emotional expression, help you relax and provide relief from symptoms such as pain.

If you would like to receive a visit from a music therapist on the wards, please speak with your nurse who will make a referral on your behalf. If you would like to receive music therapy as an outpatient, please email us at



For further information about music therapy


More about music therapy

  • Music can relieve stress and stimulate positive emotions
  • Research demonstrates music therapy is effective in the treatment of cancer-related symptoms such as pain and anxiety/mood
  • Music is engaging and supports social interaction
  • Music connects people to self and others
  • Music encourages emotional expression
  • Music can be relaxing, restful and enjoyable
  • Music therapy is adaptable to a range of abilities and needs

    Each session is tailored to each person’s needs and interests, and you do not need to have any prior musical experience to participate in or benefit from music therapy.

    In a music therapy session, patients and families may: 

    • Listen to music 
    • Choose and/or sing songs 
    • Learn to sing/play an instrument 
    • Participate in drumming and improvisation 
    • Share positive music experiences with family/friends 
    • Engage in music relaxation 
    • Use music for symptom support 
    • Write and record a song 
    • Participate in reminiscence and/or life review 
    • Create playlists with their therapist to support their goals – for example, a music playlist to support relaxation 

    Music therapy may also be used to:  

    • Support the actively dying. 
    • Provide Music-guided counseling and emotional support. 
    • Provide environmental music therapy in Day Oncology, Radiation Oncology and in the Level 3 Waiting Area – the music therapy team play live music in these spaces to help provide a relaxing and supportive environment for patients and families coming to the hospital. 

    Music therapy at the Walk for Wellness

    At the 2022 Walk for Wellness, music therapy created a 'Songwriting Wall' which invited participants to share what music, love and light meant to them. 

    Responses were collated and turned into song lyrics that were set to music, and recorded right here in the ONJ Centre music therapy studio. You can hear the completed song below.

    Mum, another patient, my sister and I were singing along with the music therapist and they really engaged us all. I realised that whatever difficulties you are facing, somehow music can be a simple, immediate and gentle release from the moment. Anne, Family Member