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"When I think about my future, I want Advance Music Directives to be part of it. This innovative tool provides me with the sense of musical security. The music I love will always be used according to my wishes.
I highly recommend completing an Advance Music Directive as you plan ahead. "

Suzanne B. Hanser, Ed.D., MT-BC
President, World Federation of Music Therapy
Chair, Music Therapy Department
Berklee College of Music
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

An Advance Directive is a legal document in which a person declares wishes regarding the delivery of health care treatment, should they become incapacitated and unable to speak on their own behalf. Living wills are the best known Advance Directive.

The Advance Music Directive (AMD) is an innovative Music Therapy tool akin to the Living Will. The terms Advanced Music Directive and Music Living Will (MLW) are synonymous. They are Advance Directives written by a well person, in anticipation of a time when he/she will be unable to speak for him/herself.

An AMD/MLW is a document which details a person's preferences regarding music, all sound and environmental stimulation, thus enhancing quality of life.

The AMD gives the person empowerment and comfort to know that his/her solemn wishes are stated and will be applied when necessary. Like a Living Will it is accessed and enacted in the event of a medical crisis, catastrophic or terminal illness, rehabilitation, or residence in a nursing care facility.

Available in 2010:

The Music Living Will: An Advanced Directive
by Donna Chadwick, MT-BC, LMHC and Karen Wacks, MT-BC, LMHC

The complete text and instruction manual for how to administer a legal Advance Music Directive
includes a CD ROM with protocol, procedures, forms, models, case examples
Links to legal and clinical sites


"This is a significant development in the use of music in health care. Advance Music Directives promote dignity through self care and self determination.
I hope other medical practitioners value and incorporate Advance Music Directives into treatment planning for people across all cultures."

Mohan Sundararaj, Physician
Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Inst.
Chennai, India

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Copyright Donna Chadwick and Karen Wacks