Music Therapy - VA Central Iowa Health Care System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Central Iowa Health Care System


Music Therapy

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. It is an established health service similar to occupational therapy and physical therapy and consists of using music therapeutically to address physical, psychological, cognitive and/or social functioning for patients of all ages. Because music therapy is a powerful and non-invasive medium, unique outcomes are possible. Music therapy is used successfully in the field of healthcare including applications with mental health, rehabilitation, hospice care, nursing home, dementia treatment, military, PTSD, and pain reduction.


Music therapy intervention provides opportunities to:

·         Explore personal feelings and therapeutic issues such as self-esteem or personal insight

·         Make positive changes in mood and emotional states

·         Have a sense of control over life through successful experiences

·         Express oneself both verbally and non-verbally

·         Develop coping and relaxation skills

·         Support healthy feelings and thoughts

·         Interact socially with others

·         Improve concentration and attention span

·         Adopt positive forms of behavior

·         Resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships

·         Memory recall which contributes to reminiscence and satisfaction with life

·         Anxiety and stress reduction

·         Nonpharmacological management of pain and discomfort

·         Stimulation which provokes interest even when no other approach is effective



Music Therapy interventions provided at VA Central Iowa:

Groups and 1:1 visits on most units

Relaxation Sessions

Song Writing and Lyric Analysis

Instrumental Playing

1:1 Music Lessons

Bell Choir

Group Guitar Class

Music and Movement

Music and Reminiscence

Social Music such as concerts, karaoke, and singalongs

Current Calendar of Events - Cosponsored with Recreation Therapy 

Vets in Action Calendar of Events


If you are interested in learning how to play guitar as part of your therapy, please check out Guitars For Vets!

Our very own Music Therapist is working with this unique program to provide lessons and free guitars for Veterans who would benefit.  Please check out their local Facebook page or contact us for more information.

Contact Info


  • Des Moines Main Campus, CLC - Building 12

Contact Number(s)

  • 515-699-5999 Ext. 24983
  • 515-699-5999 Ext. 24300

Hours of Operation

  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.