Here is a sample of what our clients and their families have to say about their individual and group music therapy experiences:
Residents of addictions treatment centers and their families:
“Ever since we began meeting, my depression has gone away. This [music therapy] is what has helped me the most out of anything.”—Client C.A.
“That was better than my chemical of choice. I am completely relaxed. My mind is clear. All my worries are gone.”–Client G.F.
“As I told you at the beginning of the session, my pain never gets below a ‘3’ or ‘4’—even with drugs. Now I’m at a ‘1.’ I can’t believe it!”—Client M.K.
“This helped me a lot with what I’m dealing with right now. It made me happy… I’ll be happy for the rest of the day.”—Client J.H.
“Yesterday was my first day [in treatment] and I was anxious—until music therapy. Afterwards I was calm and it really helped me to say ‘Okay, I can do this.”—Client M.S.
Father of patient–C.T.: “It was hard to convince C. to come to treatment, but when we told him there was going to be music therapy here, it was easier. He knew it was the place for him.”
“I didn’t know how to relax until I met with Sam. I’ve used the breathing techniques he taught me and it really helped. I take medications to help me sleep but for those to work you still have to be able to relax.”—Client K.H.
“When I heard we were having music therapy I thought I had checked into the wrong place, but then I went to one of the groups. It was so amazing.”—Client D.W.
“I’m using that stuff you taught me… I had a panic attack the other day. It was late and my counselor wasn’t there, so I [pt described using a relaxation technique learned in music therapy]. It worked…I’ve been using the techniques you taught me and my anxiety has been way down.”—Client L.B.
“I feel enlightened. I was worried about leaving… I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”—Client A.V.
“Before I came to [music therapy] group, I was so anxious I tried to go to the doctor and get some medication for it. [Pt was unable to get any meds.] Now my anxiety is gone. I feel light…”—Client R.W.
“I learned that I need to sit with my feelings and not run from them.”—Client M.
“Music therapy has really helped me… to calm down. I meditate every morning now.” Anxiety: Pre-session: 6; Post-session: 0 –Client S.
“During the imagery was the first time ever—I mean ever—that my mind was completely calm and I was able to relax. I’ve been having a hard time lately because of really bad pain from my fibromyalgia… I felt no pain during the meditation.”—Client A.C.
“These guided imageries help my self-esteem… and I always learn something about myself.”—Client C.H.
Hospice patients and their families:
“My brother, my sister, and I all agree that your music time with our dear mother was the highlight of her [final] week. It brought her such great blessing as well as to us when we got to be with you!”–Daughter of patient–L.B.
“Dad is on hospice now so I may not see you again, but the more I’ve come around here and seen what you do, the more I realize how important what you do is: their bodies may be broken, but their spirits are still in there. You treat their spirits with your gentleness and kindness-and that’s important.”–Son of patient–B.S.
“You can stay and sing all day… That’s the most at ease I’ve seen her all afternoon… Earlier she was trying to climb out of her bed. Now she’s so relaxed.”–Nurse T.J., patient–S.B.
“I wanted to tell you–Mom passed [away] 5 minutes after you walked out the door… It was just beautiful. I think she may have been waiting for you. She just loved music… You led her home!”–Daughter of patient–L.R.
Residents of assisted living communities and their families:
“Well, things are a little bad, but when you came along, things got pretty good… It’s good to have a friend to sit and talk to. I could do this all the time… Now I think I can keep going… Music just opens you up… It’s good to see a friend who listens to you… Thank you for helping me make it through…” –Client J.S.
Daughter of (above) Client–J.S: “My mother has dementia related Alzheimer’s. She is residing in an assisted living facility… Music therapy has helped her maintain her present level of memory. She looks forward to the music and recognizes the therapists when they come in the door. Music has always given her a great deal of pleasure and reinforces pleasant memories. Because she receives music therapy twice a week, I (as well as my brothers who live out-of-state) can tell a marked difference in her cognitive abilities. Just to watch a session and see the look of total bliss on her face reinforces my belief that music therapy enhances her present life situation. I wholeheartedly would recommend music therapy to anyone in our present situation.”–R.G.
“You have no idea what you just did for us! You should have seen this place before you got here! You just lifted us up way high!”–Client F.
“This group is the highlight of my week!”–Client B.J.
Son of Client-B.R.: “[The residents] are enchanted by you. You have a real gift!”
Daughter of Client-M.S.: “I just wanted to thank you for coming. She is just glowing! She can’t wait until you come back next week!”
Letters written by clients:
I would like to say thank you for making such a difference in my life and recovery. You have inspired me and taught me to express my feelings and thoughts through song… Music is my passion and you managed to recognize my determination and push me to strive for success. I will always remember what your music therapy class has done for me, but most of all, I appreciate the one to one sessions where you helped me come to some very important, even life-changing realizations. I cannot express my gratitude enough for what you have done for me and the changes that have resulted from your groups.
My name is K… I have suffered from chronic migraines for more than 20 years. For years I have taken prescription pain medication to ease the pain. However… I was taught wonderful breathing and relaxation techniques through music therapy. Our music therapist, Sam Brodsgaard is so wonderful. Everyone affectionately calls him “Sam the Music Man.” I have been putting the techniques into my daily activities. I have been able to stop taking the medications, including painful shots for my migraines. The pain used to be so intense; I would end up in the emergency room. I will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to work [individually] with Sam.
I’m writing this letter to express my gratitude toward the Music Therapy Program directed by Sam… During my rehabilitation stay, I experienced large group, small group, and one-on-one therapy sessions. What impressed me about the group sessions was how therapeutic techniques combined with musical meditation and/or evaluation could break down psychic walls and allow expression of emotions from otherwise reclusive or quiet individuals.
When I was able to experience the individual sessions, Sam inspired me personally to write lyrics and develop music for a song, which we ultimately recorded on his iPhone. Sam encouraged my creativity in an arena that I never imagined and I am completely grateful… I thank Sam for revealing my musical talents, and mostly for allowing me to see my brothers and sisters in recovery come to know themselves from the wonders and miracles of this music therapy program.
Sincerely and Gratefully,