Music Therapy at The End of Life (2nd edition)


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Cheryl Dileo & Mariagrazia Baroni (Eds.)

Prelude by Dr. Ira Byock

Postlude by Joan Marston

The second edition of Music Therapy at the End of Life edited by Cheryl Dileo and Mariagrazia Baroni has been designed as a textbook on music therapy for pediatric and adult patients receiving hospice care. Comprised of 78 chapters (685 pages) with contributions by 65 music therapy experts from around the world, the book is divided into 4 parts. 

Part I is designed to provide foundational information on hospice and hospice music therapy, including terminology and a review of research.

Part 2, Music Therapy Practice at the End of Life, comprises the bulk of the book. Included are descriptions of theory, assessment, roles of the therapist, and developmental issues in practice. The various methods used in hospice music therapy are organized according to Dileo & Dneaster’s (2005) 3 levels of practice in hospice music therapy (Level I-Symptom Management; Level 2: Emotional Expression and Communication; and Level 3: Transformation. Where relevant, separate method chapters are written for adults and pediatric patients. Also included in Part 2 are chapters that describe special types of hospice methods, patients, and settings. The section on Specialized Music Therapy Methods comprises those methods relevant to hospice care that also require separate training, such as Guided Imagery and Music. Special Client Groups are described in the following section; these include patients with dementia, perinatal or premature babies, veterans, patients who have experienced trauma, and patients’ families, siblings, and caregivers. Non-traditional settings for music and music therapy are provided in the next section, including prisons, public health, community death education, hospice choirs, and humanitarian crises. Religion and cultural issues comprise ten chapters at the end of Part 2. These include information on the major world religions, and cultural considerations for working with Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Asian, Indian, Arabic, Israeli, First Peoples, and LGBTQ+ patients.

Part 3 is focused on educational and professional issues. This part includes chapters on ethics, education, supervision, working with teams, therapist self-care, and professional grief. 

Part 4 is focused on advancing hospice music therapy. Four chapters written by music therapists who have become hospice administrators comprise the first half of this part, and the remaining chapters provide information on promoting and advocating for hospice music therapy as well as recommendations for the future. 

ISBN 978-0-9770278-8-0   (685 pages)



Table of Contents

Copyright Page



Table of Contents

About the Editors

Introduction to the Book

Prelude: Ira Byock 


Chapter 1. Hospice and Palliative Care: Definitions and Overview  

Dena Register  

Chapter 2. Music Therapy Literature Review on Research in Palliative and Hospice Care

Clare O’Callaghan



Chapter 3. Moments of Grace: The Uniqueness of End-of-Life Music Therapy 

Cheryl Dileo

Chapter 4. The Therapeutic Relationship and Roles of the Music Therapist in End-of-Life- Care. 

Nadine E. Cadesky  

Chapter 5. Integrative Assessment and Evaluation: Pediatric through Adult Populations at the End of Life 

Joanne Loewy  

Chapter 6. Improvisational Assessment at End of Life 

Michael L. Zanders   

Chapter 7. Integral Thinking in Music Therapy at the End of Life

Lauren DiMaio 

Chapter 8. Levels of Music Therapy for Persons at the End of Life

Cheryl Dileo   

Chapter 9. Developmentally-Driven End-of-Life Care

Kristen O’Grady & Yelena Zatulovsky


Music Therapy Methods According to Levels of Practice

Level 1: Supportive

Chapter 10. Music Therapy for Pain & Symptom Management in End-of-Life Care

Kristen O’Grady & Yelena Zatulovsky  

Level 2: Expression/Communication

Chapter 11. Final Moments: The Use of Song in Relationship Completion

Cheryl Dileo & Heather Wagner 

Chapter 12. Addressing Anticipatory Grief in Music Therapy

Guacimara Molina Sosa 

Chapter 13. Music Therapy Life Review

Natalie McClune  

Chapter 14. Music Therapy Reminiscence

Natalie McClune  

Chapter 15. Musical Autobiographies 

SarahRose Black 

Chapter 16. Song Choice for Children and Adolescents at the End of Life

Louise Miles  

Chapter 17. Song Choice with Adult Patients at the End of Life

Guacimara Molina Sosa  

Chapter 18. Lyric Analysis with Children at the End of Life

Louise Miles 

Chapter 19. Lyric Analysis at the End of Life

Guacimara Molina Sosa 

Chapter 20. Therapeutic Songwriting with Children and Their Families at the End of Life

Amanda Maestro-Scherer 

Chapter 21. Therapeutic Songwriting with Adults at the End of Life

Charla Burton & Meredith Ferrel 

Chapter 22. The Therapist’s Use of Vocal Improvisation and Spontaneous Song Improvisation in Hospice Music Therapy 

Nadine Cadesky  

Chapter 23. Clients’ Use of Vocal Improvisation and Spontaneous Song Improvisation at the End of Life 

Nadine Cadesky 

Chapter 24. Instrumental Improvisation with Pediatric Patients at the End of Life

Elizabeth Harman  

Chapter 25. Instrumental Improvisation with Adults in Hospice

Mariagrazia Baroni   

Chapter 26. Combined Voice and Instrumental Methods in Hospice Music Therapy

Teresa Miquel Sellés  

Chapter 27. The Use of Therapist-Composed Song in End-of-Life Music Therapy Care

Robert E. Krout 

Chapter 28. Musical Legacy Work in Pediatrics

Amy Love & Lydia Westle 

Chapter 29. Music Therapy and Legacy with Adults at the End-of-Life

Lucanne Magill 

Chapter 30. Amplified Cardiopulmonary Recording (ACPR) With Persons at the End of Life

Brian Schreck 250

Chapter 31. Music Therapy Support of Families Immediately Following the Death of a Child

Lydia Westle 

Chapter 32. Music Therapy Support Following an Adult Patient’s Death

SarahRose Black  

Chapter 33. Funeral Planning and Memorial Services in Pediatric End-of-Life Care

Amanda Maestro-Scherer 

Chapter 34. Funeral Planning and Memorial Services for Adults

Charla Burton & Meredith Ferrel  


Level 3: Transformation

Chapter 35. Music Therapy and Spirituality at the End of Life

Lucanne Magill 

Chapter 36. Existential Issues and Meaning-Making at the End of Life

Cheryl Dileo 

Chapter 37. The Use of Ritual with Pediatric Patients at the End of Life

Katie Lindenfelser 

Chapter 38 The Use of Ritual: Transformative Experience in Hospice

Mariagrazia Baroni & Francesca Bonacini


Specialized Music Therapy Methods

Chapter 39. Guided Imagery and Music Methods for Children at the End of Life

Filippo Giordano  

Chapter 40. The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) with Adults at the End of Life

M. Louise Cadrin 

Chapter 41. The Use of Referential Improvisation in Analytical Music Therapy: The Case of Korean Clients in End-of-Life Care 

Seung-A Jung  & Soyoung Park 

Chapter 42. The Nordoff-Robbins Approach for Patients at the End of Life

Fraser Simpson 

Chapter 43. Advanced Vocal Techniques for Use with Hospice Patients

Carrie Rupnow-Kidd, Brooke Carroll Lemchak & Karen Dennery Melita.


Special Client Groups

Chapter 44. Music Therapy for Persons with Advanced Dementia at the End of Life

Laurel Young 

Chapter 45. End-of-life Music Therapy within Perinatal Hospice

Lauren Fagan-Antonelli  

Chapter 46. “HeartSong” with Premature Infants and Their Parents at the End of Life

Lauren Fagan-Antonelli & Joanne Loewy 

Chapter 47. Music Therapy with Veterans at the End-of-life

Lucanne Magill  

Chapter 48. Trauma-Informed Care in Hospice Music Therapy

Heather Wagner 

Chapter 49. Inclusion as Practice and Philosophy: Supporting Patients, Families, and Caregivers Facing the End of Life 

John Mondanaro  


Hospice Music Therapy in Non-Traditional Setting

Chapter 50. Hospice Music Therapy in Correctional Settings

Heather Wagner 

Chapter 51. ‘GRESCO Agape’ – An International Songwriting Project for Hospice Patients and School Children

Giorgos Tsiris  

Chapter 52. The Hospice Choir

Fraser Simpson 

Chapter 53. Music Therapy for Hospice Patients in Humanitarian or Refugee Crisis Situations

Mitsi Akoyunoglou Elisabeth Kaczynski & Elide Scarlata 

Chapter 54. Immersive Music and Arts Experiences for Community Death Education

Ania Tait


Cultural and Religious Issues

Chapter 55. Religious and Spiritual Considerations in Working with Patients at the End of Life

Molly G. Hicks 

Chapter 56. Cultural Considerations for Providing Hospice Music Therapy for Hispanic/Latino Patients

Marianela Cordoba Saborio  

Chapter 57. Cultural Considerations When Working with Black/African-American Patients at the End of Life 

Charla Burton & Maya Johnson  

Chapter 58. Cultural Considerations for Providing Hospice Music Therapy for Taiwanese Patients 

Fu-Nien Hsieh 

Chapter 59. Cultural Considerations of Music Therapy for Terminally Ill Patients and Families in Japan 

Ayumu Kitawaki & Rieko Eguchi 

Chapter 60. Cultural Considerations for Providing Hospice Music Therapy to Indian Patients

Sumathy Sundar 

Chapter 61. Cultural Considerations for Music Therapy with Southwest Asian Patients in Kuwait at the End of Life 

Kristal Foster 

Chapter 62. Cultural Considerations in End-Of-Life Music Therapy with Israeli and Palestinian Children 

Gabi Frank  

Chapter 63. Cultural Considerations for Music Therapy with LGBTQ+ Clients at the End of Life 

Alexa Economos 

Chapter 64. Hospice Music Therapy with First Peoples

Tinaya Entz 



Chapter 65. Ethical Issues in Hospice Music Therapy

Cheryl Dileo 

Chapter 66. Therapist Self-Care: Fostering Resilience in Hospice Music Therapy

Heather Wagner 

Chapter 67. Professional Grief of Hospice Music Therapists

Lauren DiMaio  

Chapter 68. Supervision in Hospice Music Therapy

Lauren DiMaio 

Chapter 69. Advanced, Specialized Training in Hospice Music Therapy

Cheryl Dileo 

Chapter 70. Harmony in Healing: Elevating Hospice Care through Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Mariagrazia Baroni & Elisa Rabitti  

Chapter 71. The Music Therapy Team in End-of-Life Care: A Space for Individual and Group Growth and Boosting the Profession.  

Guacimara Molina Sosa, Laura Bosa Quevedo, María Luisa Munguía Suárez, & Meritxell Yanes Hernández 542



Chapter 72. The Music Therapist as Hospice Administrator

Katie Lindenfelser

Chapter 73. The Music Therapist as Hospice Administrator 

Tracy Leonard-Warner

Chapter 74. ‘When the Music Therapist Becomes the Leader…’

Nigel Hartley

Chapter 75. From Clinician to Administrator: A Journey of Growth and Advocacy

Russell Hilliard  

Chapter 76. Promoting Music Therapy

Jennifer Borgwardt & Melissa Srolovitz  

Chapter 77.  Professional Advocacy

Majesca Wong 

Chapter 78. Future Dimensions of Hospice Music Therapy Practice, Training, and Research

Cheryl Dileo & Mariagrazia Baroni 


POSTLUDE: Joan Marston  


Author Information 

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