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Music Therapy

Our Music Therapist works with patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to improve overall health and wellbeing.

A woman holding a celtic drum sits alongside a man playing bongo drums they are surrounded by other musical instruments

About Music Therapy

Our Music Therapists Dr Patsy Tan and John Lattin work with inpatients across multiple wards to reduce pain perception and anxiety, enhance their mood and improve their overall health and wellbeing. Music Therapy is evidence-based practice where music and music activities are used to support patients with a range of medical conditions within a therapeutic relationship.

In hospital inpatient care, Music Therapy activities can be used to alleviate pain in conjunction with pain medication, mitigate pre-operative or hospitalisation anxiety, elevate patient mood, enhance physical rehabilitation, induce sleep, reduce muscle tension for relaxation and maintain a person’s overall quality of life.

Our Team

Music Therapists John Lattin and Dr Patsy Tan

Complementary services

These services have been complemented by a live music program with professional musicians playing in clinical areas such as the Intensive Care Unit and Renal Dialysis Unit, helping to provide a comforting and healing environment for all visitors to the wards including staff, families and patients.

Echoing through the main foyer of the RAH, the baby grand piano also forms part of CCH’s music program, being played by volunteers, staff, patients and other visitors for the community to enjoy.

Don Bull   Piano   Royal Adelaide Hospital

Volunteer pianist Don Bull at the Royal Adelaide Hospital

How can Music Therapy help?

Music Therapy can take many forms to support you during a stay in hospital. It can be fun, energetic and active music-making, calm, reflective or relaxing music listening, therapeutic song writing, or music-based discussions. It can be beneficial for many reasons including:

  • Relaxation, reduce agitation, and improve attention
  • Enhance personal development goals during unexpected long stays
  • Assist pain management
  • Assist understand your surroundings
  • Speech and singing improvements after stroke, neurological, or respiratory conditions
  • Support and improve mobility after a loss of function
  • Improve depression and low mood
  • Ease anxiety about your treatment or hospitalisation
  • Support for you and loved ones during palliative care.


“Music Therapy is an escape from all the trauma and worry of everything else”

 – Music Therapy patient


Dr Patsy Tan