Music Therapy at the Zakim Center

Music Therapy Offerings

Meditation with Live Music

Experience an alternative mindfulness meditation experience with the presence of live music. Research shows that listening to live music during meditation may help focus an active mind, decrease heart rate, anxiety, and pain, and guide you to a deeper relaxation.

Music Therapy for Better Sleep

Sleep is an important part of stress reduction and wellbeing. This 6-week group uses education and evidence-based experiences to help participants reduce stress, access relaxation, and use their favorite music to help them sleep better. Participants will learn new strategies, cultivate awareness, and be empowered to set attainable goals with the structured support of this group. Those who complete this program will feel more confident in managing healthy sleep on their own. Participants should be finished with standard treatments and should consult with their oncologist prior to joining to ensure that medications are not disrupting their sleep. This group is for Dana-Farber patients.

This course is free of charge, but space is limited. Email the Zakim Center at to learn when the next session of Music Therapy for Better Sleep is being offered and to be added to our waitlist!

Individual Music Therapy Sessions

Music therapy has been clinically shown to bring about positive changes in mood and increase quality of life by changing our awareness of pain, reducing anxiety, and supporting participants in developing positive coping skills. A music therapy session may include making music through songwriting or playing an instrument, or through music listening, such as in meditation with live music. The therapist may also share different ways you can use music and creativity in your own time to support your treatment goals.

Similar to talk therapy, an important part of music therapy is the guidance of a board-certified music therapist to engage in evidence-based practices, facilitate supportive discussion, and guide the experience overall.  No prior musical experience is required to benefit from music therapy services. Email the Zakim Center to schedule a free consultation. These sessions are for Dana-Farber patients.

Upcoming Meditation with Live Music Classes

Recorded Meditation with Live Music Videos

Music-Guided Breathing Exercises

  • Music-Guided Even Breathing

    Music-Guided Even Breathing

    27 Oct, 2021
    In this 8-minute video music therapist Heather Woods, MA, MT-BC guides viewers through an even breathing exercise with relaxing live music. Even br...
  • Music-Guided 2-2-4 Breathing Exercise

    Music-Guided 2-2-4 Breathing Exercise

    27 Oct, 2021
    In this 9-minute video music therapist Heather Woods, MA, MT-BC guides viewers in a 2-2-4 breathing exercise with relaxing live music. 2-2-4 breath...
  • Music-Guided Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    Music-Guided Progressive Muscle Relaxation

    27 Oct, 2021
    In this 15-minute video music therapist Heather Woods, MA, MT-BC guides viewers in a progressive muscle relaxation experience with relaxing live mu...

Meet Heather Woods, MA, MT-BC

Heather Woods is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and professional musician in the Boston Area. In nearly 10 years as a clinician, she has gained extensive experience serving the mental health needs of diverse populations including pediatric and adult oncology patients, youth with life-threatening illnesses and HIV/AIDS, and trauma survivors. Heather draws on her professional musicianship and expertise in mindfulness to offer services that are creative, inclusive, and success oriented. Her clinical work is informed by anti-oppressive principles, acknowledges the impact of inequity on mental and physical health, and emphasizes cultivating self-trust, self-compassion, and agency in self-care decisions.

Heather completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music, graduating Summa Cum Laude from her graduate studies.

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