Music Therapy Techniques for Wellness


Authored by Suzanne Hanser


Course Code: OMUTH-105

Next semester
starts June 24

12 Weeks

Level 1

Level 1

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


Have you found that music can immediately change your mood? Have you seen how music brings back special memories and pictures in your mind's eye? Have you noticed that a song can express exactly how you feel? This course explores these questions and more. You’ll learn how music affects your mind, body, and soul, and you’ll practice evidence-based musical activities and exercises that can enhance your general well-being and wellness.

Read More

This course is based primarily on different music therapy strategies the course author has implemented over her decades of hands-on experience, honing these strategies into music-based practices that can help you get through everyday stress and strain, deal with the pain that you may encounter in the course of living a full life, and develop your inner resources and creative potential.

The course begins with an introduction to integrative health—a new model for holistic healthcare—and the science behind the power of music. You will learn some of the psychological, neurological, and immunological changes that can come about when you engage with music, thereby affecting your general wellness and well-being. You will assess the impact of music in your own life and investigate your personal journey to wellness through musical activities that exercise your creativity.

From there, you will experiment with a wide variety of interventions involving music for comfort, music for awakening, music for peace, finding your voice, and listening for wellness. You will assess stress and pain as it occurs in your life and the lives of loved ones, and then conduct a musical autobiography. This will help you develop a set of personalized playlists that have different effects on you, and can be applied along with specific exercises to help you cope with stress or pain and enhance your well-being.

Finally, you will create your own music wellness plan that includes a commitment to the practices that have worked for you, applying the music that has special meaning and impact for you.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Define integrative health and describe how engaging with music may enhance your wellness and well-being

  • Articulate and implement multiple strategies that involve:

    • Music for comfort

    • Music for awakening

    • Finding your voice

    • Listening for wellness

    • Music for peace

  • Assess the nature of your own stress and pain

  • Identify and apply music-based strategies for coping with stress, pain, and daily challenges

  • Develop your personal music wellness plan, including special playlists, music techniques, schedule, and a contract for implementation

Read Less


Lesson 1: An Introduction to Integrative Health

  • Music for Sickness and Health
  • The Impact of Music on Our Lives
  • Integrative Medicine/Health and Music Therapy
  • Holistic Healing
  • Healing Music
  • Assignment 1: Music Healing

Lesson 2: Tuning In: Your Journey

  • Physical Preparation
  • Emotional Preparation
  • Mental Preparation
  • Existential Preparation
  • Spiritual Preparation
  • Musical Preparation
  • Assignment 2: Tuning In

Lesson 3: Music for Comfort

  • Music for Comfort: The Lullaby
  • Comforting the Body with Music
  • The Power of Breath
  • What is Pranayama?
  • Comforting the Mind Through Breath
  • Assignment 3: Your Lullaby

Lesson 4: Music for Awakening

  • Awakening through Music
  • Awakening through Chant and Mantra
  • Creating and Integrating Mantra (Jingles) into Your Wellness Practice
  • Awakening through Imagery
  • Awakening through Power Songs
  • Assignment 4: Your Music for Awakening

Lesson 5: Finding Your Voice

  • The Science Behind Singing
  • Singing How You Feel
  • Circle Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Ways to Integrate Creating Music into Your Music Wellness Practice
  • Assignment 5: Your Music Wellness Practice

Lesson 6: Listening for Wellness

  • Deep Listening
  • Listening with Imagery
  • How the Brain Processes Music
  • Iso-Principle Technique
  • Assignment 6: Matching Your Mood

Lesson 7: Music for Peace

  • What is the Meaning of Peace?
  • Silence
  • What is Gratitude?
  • Musical Rituals
  • Assignment 7: Your Song of Peace and Ritual

Lesson 8: Assessing Stress and Pain

  • Stress Assessment Log
  • Pain Assessment Log
  • Music Listening Log
  • What Music Can Do for You
  • Assignment 8: Stress, Pain, and Music Listening Logs

Lesson 9: How to Apply Music for Wellness Every Day

  • When Do You Need Music?
  • Music-Based Applications for Every Day
  • Implementation of a New Day
  • Assignment 9: Your Music Plan

Lesson 10: How to Apply Music for Wellness for Stress and Pain

  • Music Listening Applications for Serious Stress and Pain
  • Playing Instruments as a Coping Strategy
  • Singing as a Coping Strategy
  • Creative Musical Solutions for Stress and Pain
  • Improvisation as a Coping Strategy
  • Songwriting as a Coping Strategy
  • Assignment 10: Stress and Pain Strategy

Lesson 11: Your Personal Music Wellness Plan

  • Evaluating Your Initial Contributions to the Course
  • Music for Comfort
  • Music for Awakening
  • Finding Your Musical Voice
  • Listening for Wellness
  • Music for Peace
  • Assignment 11: Music Wellness Re-Evaluations

Lesson 12: Bringing Meaning to Your Learning

  • Integration
  • Your Values
  • Commitment
  • Your Relationships
  • The Finale
  • Assignment 12: Final Music Wellness Play


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
This course does not have any prerequisites.



Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Suzanne Hanser

Author & Instructor

Dr. Suzanne B. Hanser is founding chair of the Music Therapy Department at Berklee College of Music. She is President of the International Association for Music & Medicine and past president of both the World Federation of Music Therapy and the National Association for Music Therapy. Dr. Hanser is the author of research articles, as well as several books: The New Music Therapist's Handbook, Manage Your Stress and Pain, with co-author Dr. Susan Mandel, and Integrative Health through Music Therapy: Accompanying the Journey from Illness to Wellness. In 2006 she was named by the Boston Globe as one of eleven Bostonians Changing the World. In 2009 she was awarded the Sage Publications Prize for her article, “From Ancient to Integrative Medicine: Models for Music Therapy.” She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Therapy Association in November 2011.

What's Next?

When taken for credit, Music Therapy Techniques for Wellness can be applied towards the completion of these related programs:

Related Degree Major


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

Get Info