Music Heals

Research on the Healing Power of Music

Musicians On Call volunteers and staff have seen the healing power of music up close. We’ve heard countless testimonies from patients, family, and hospital staff who’ve seen our music programs positively impact their well-being and time in the hospital.  Click below to view resources on the different ways music can help in the healing process.

Improve Blood Pressure

Manage Stress

Alleviate Pain and Improve Pain Tolerance


Improve Outlook and Overall Mood

Now we are building new partnerships and resources, aimed at collecting data and identifying research that documents the impact of live and recorded music programs on hospital patients and healthcare environments.

Below are some of our favorite studies in the healing power of music we have collected. Check out all of our resources here.


Slide UCL How the Arts Can Improve Mental Health, Especially During the Pandemic “The COVID-19 Social Study, led by Dr. Daisy Fancourt of the University College of London, has tracked arts participation and mental health in a cohort of 72,000 UK adults aged 18 and older on a weekly basis since March. The data suggests that people who have spent 30 minutes or more each day during the pandemic on arts activities like reading for pleasure, listening to music, or engaging in a creative hobby have lower reported rates of depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction.“ Slide IMJ The Benefit of Live Music in the General Hospital “The majority of respondents reported positive emotional states after the music: 82% of respondents stated that listening to the music helped them to relax, 59% stated that hearing the music made them feel happier, 47% felt more positive, 29% felt more energised and 19% felt part of a group. A small minority 3% of respondents felt less pain as a result of listening to the live music.“ Slide HCA TODAY The Medicine of Music “Music has demonstrated through research that it can help restore lost speech like in the case of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, reduce the side effects of cancer therapy, aid in pain relief and improve the quality of life for dementia patients, as evidenced by the documentary “Alive Inside,” to name a few of the many benefits.” Slide CNN Health Online Surgery patients hear benefits of music therapy loud and clear “The researchers found that patients who listened to music either before, during or after surgery had less pain, took less pain medication and were less anxious after surgery. The effects lasted more than four hours following the operation, and were greater for patients who grooved out before their surgery.” Slide Science Daily Music Demonstrated to Alleviate Cancer Patients' Symptoms “The results of single studies suggest that music listening may reduce the need for anesthetics and analgesics, as well as decreased recovery time and duration of hospitalization, but more research is needed for these outcomes," according to Bradt and her co-authors.” Slide Outside Online ‘Take Two Songs and Call Me in the Morning' “Stefan Koelsch, a professor of music psychology at Freie University, in Berlin, and his colleagues expanded on previous studies suggesting that positive moods encouraged by music can maintain healthy physiological responses to stress. Their resultant study, published in the journal Nature Research, found that the release of cortisol among subjects listening to music heightened their abilities to react and overcome stressful situations.” CLICK THROUGH BELOW TO VIEW STUDIES ON THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC