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Music Therapy

Music therapy is the clinical application of music to address a person’s unique situation and needs such as communication barriers, emotional and spiritual support, pain reduction, grieving, and quality of life. There is extensive research on the positive impact of music for those with memory loss.

KishHealth System Hospice Music Therapy is responsive to and respectful of the individual’s family preferences, cultural influences, and religious beliefs. Individuals typically respond to music long after speech has ceased or become difficult. A visit with a music therapist can include activities as simple as treasured hymns played softly on the harp or as involved as engaging in the song writing process. Music therapy offers a unique, noninvasive, and compassionate approach to supporting patients in end-of-life care.

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Who Provides Music Therapy for KishHealth Hospice?

Jen Conley is a board-certified music therapist and has previously practiced music therapy in hospice, geriatric, and educational settings. She is also a licensed professional counselor who has been trained extensively in the use of music for healing and has worked for many years in music ministry.

Jen welcomes volunteers to assist with music therapy as part of hospice and end-of-life care. If you are interested in volunteering with the Music Therapy Program for KishHealth Hospice or have questions about music therapy programs and activities, contact Jen Conley.

What Does a Music Therapist Do?

A visit with a music therapist may include:

  • Reminiscing and sharing memories
  • Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Listening to the music therapist playing an instrument including a harp, keyboard, guitar, and voice
  • Guided relaxation or use of imagery paired with music
  • Music to facilitate special moments with family and caregivers
  • Intergenerational music experiences
  • Legacy recordings
  • Music for spiritual reflection and exploration
  • Decision-making about music for memorials

Who is Music Therapy Used For?

Music has a universal appeal and therefore nearly everyone can relate to music and participate in music therapy in some meaningful fashion. One does not need to have any musical ability or experience to benefit from music therapy.

Use of live music to:

  • Promote relaxation and well being
  • Support spiritual beliefs and practices
  • Reinforce identity and joyful experiences
  • Provide non-verbal connection/expression

"In Each Moment" KishHealth Hospice Celebration in Song

KishHealth Hospice is proud to announce the release of our full-length CD, In Each Moment. The CD, funded by a grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation, includes songs written by our hospice patients and families as well as our children's bereavement group. Instrumentals are provided by Northern Illinois University faculty musicians and community musicians who have generously donated their time to the project. 

The CD is $15 and is available for purchase at KishHealth System Hospice, Green Leaf Gift Shop at Kish Hospital, and the Valley West Hospital Gift Shop.


Hospice News

Check out the latest Hospice news and events in the Hospice Newsletter!

>> Download Now (pdf)

Support Groups

KishHealth System Hospice offers many bereavement support groups throughout the year at various locations including Sandwich and DeKalb. 

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