Therapeutic Music in the Intensive Care Unit

The Healing Sounds of Music

Program Expansion

Therapeutic Music in the ICU is expanding to community senior and Veteran centers.

It is well recognized that music can have an impact on health. In collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt, the Music Cognition Lab, and the Program for Music, Mind and Society at Vanderbilt, a therapeutic music program was launched in 2019 to provide live music for patients hospitalized in the intensive care units at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Acknowledgement: Nashville Piano Rescue for the donation of a mobile upright piano and artist Aaron Grayum for the painting of the piano.


Volunteer Musicians wanted for a patient and family centered Music in the Intenstive Care Unit pilot project.

We are seeking interested students, faculty, clinicians, and other Vanderbilt community musicians who would have interest in a new pilot program to provide therapeutic music in the intensive care units (ICUs) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. While music has demonstrated benefits during illness, Vanderbilt does not have a dedicated music program for patients hospitalized in the ICU - an area that cares for the most critically ill patients. Replicating a therapeutic music program used internationally, musicians are being recruited to participate in an initial one hour orientation session to review plans for providing therapeutic music using an established playlist of classical music. 

Complete this form to register.

Publications and presentations about this project


Project Team

Joseph Schlesinger, MD, FCCM
Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN, MCCM
Alexandra Bruder MS
Debra S. Burns, PhD, MT-BC
Reyna Gordon, PhD
Akash Gururaja
Miriam Lense, PhD
Todd Rice, MD
Shawniqua Williams Roberson, MEng, MD


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