Uncommon Music Making: The Functional Roles of Music in Design for Healthcare


Music and Medicine




In this paper, we discuss uncommon settings and roles for music in order to demonstrate how music can aid in the design and implementation of socially responsible healthcare products that are encouraging, inclusive, and sensitive to critical contexts. We review three music-inspired design cases (CareTunes: Musical Alarms for Critical Care, Music and Senior Exercise, and We Are All Musicians and the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument) in which the authors took part. The literature review and the analysis of the case studies provide the following insights: music enhances sensory experiences, facilitates physical engagement with the world, music can guide medical professionals in critical contexts, and music creates social cohesion. All of these projects demonstrate the importance of involving participants (users or performers) in the process to address their life experiences. The use of music in design applications is experienced as a positive influence that can facilitate wellbeing for community members, persons with disabilities, medical patients, and healthcare professionals in the workplace. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Engagement Level; Interpersonal Problems; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

design interventions; music-inspired; community music; medical device; healthcare; wellbeing; Health Care Services; Well Being

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type