Yumiko Sato Music Therapy

Journey Into Wholeness

Song of Father ~ Hamachidori

In the previous article, “I Killed Japanese Soldiers”, I met Ron, a terminally ill patient at hospice.  During the music therapy session he confessed having killed Japanese soldiers during the … Continue reading

Featured · 1 Comment

I Killed Japanese Soldiers

I’ve kept a notebook about memorable encounters with patients and their families ever since I started working as a music therapist. I thought I’d need it one day to process … Continue reading

Featured · 2 Comments

Reflection on 2017

This year brought so many changes to my life. Moving back to the U.S was a big change, and getting used to a new life in Nebraska has not been … Continue reading

December 15, 2017 · 3 Comments

“Last Song” Published in Korean

My book “Last Song – Melodies of Love and Hope” (2014) is translated into Korean.  

August 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

【New Book】Heart of the Dying

“Heart of the Dying” (POPLAR Publishing Co., Ltd.) By Yumiko Sato 1/10/2017 (Release Date) I’m happy to announce that my second book “Heart of the Dying (Shi ni yuku hito … Continue reading

December 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Hospice music therapy documentary

The documentary about hospice music therapy will air nationwide this weekend. The TV crew from Aomori has captured intimate moments during music therapy sessions. In Japan neither hospice care nor … Continue reading

October 24, 2016 · Leave a comment

Ijime, bullying in Japan

A 13 year-old boy in Iwate prefecture jumped in front of an oncoming train and ended his life in the summer of 2015. In the notebook he was exchanging with … Continue reading

February 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Music Therapy at Aomori Jikeikai Hospital

Hi everyone.  I have good news today. I began working as a music therapist at Aomori Jikeikai Hospital in Aomori city. It’s known for rehabilitation and palliative care. The palliative … Continue reading

August 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

‘I Cannot Forgive Myself for What I Did’: One Man’s Recollections of His Work on the Manhattan Project

The blog article, “I Cannot Forgive Myself for What I Did” was published on The Huffington Post USA, UK, Italy, Spain, German, Korea, and Japan: English →http://huff.to/1IO3BZb Italian→http://huff.to/1IrNVHA Spanish →http://huff.to/1IuAuqn … Continue reading

August 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

【Announcing New Album 】Last Song Compilation CD

『Last Song』 7/29/2015  I’m happy to announce that a compilation CD based on my book, “Last Song,” will be released from Universal Music. It is a collection of songs mentioned … Continue reading

July 12, 2015 · 2 Comments

American WWII Veteran’s Tearful Plea

In my previous post, “The Last Wish of a Woman Who Survived The Battle of Okinawa” I wrote about a Japanese lady who experienced the horror of the war but … Continue reading

July 9, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Last Wish of a Woman Who Survived The Battle of Okinawa

Not to trasmit an experience is to betray it. ~Elie Wiesel “I have one regret,” said Tokiko one day. “I wish I had written down my story. ” I was … Continue reading

June 19, 2015 · 7 Comments

Music Therapy in The Nursing Home Where You Can Live With Your Pets

The other day I visited a nursing home called “Sakura no Yamashina” for a music therapy session.  It’s located in a quiet part of Yokosuka city in Kanagawa prefecture surrounded … Continue reading

April 30, 2015 · 5 Comments

【Announcing Radio Drama】”Music Therapist”

I’m  happy to announce that the NHK is making a radio drama called “Music Therapist,” based on my book, “Last Song~Melodies of Love and Hope at the End of Life.” … Continue reading

April 23, 2015 · 4 Comments

Lecture & Book Signing at YAMAHA

The other day I visited Yamaha Store in Ikebukuro city in Tokyo.  It’s a large music store where they sell instruments downstairs and books and sheet music upstairs. Much to … Continue reading

January 5, 2015 · Leave a comment

【Announcing My New Book】 “LAST SONG”

“LAST SONG – Melodies of Love and Hope at the End of Life” (POPLAR Publishing Co., Ltd.) By Yumiko Sato 12/2/2014 (Release Date) Book Designer: Masato Takayanagi Illustrator: Shuku Nishi … Continue reading

November 7, 2014 · 2 Comments

Music Therapy in Japan

Since I returned to Japan about a year and a half ago, I’ve been writing and speaking about music therapy – what it is, what it is not, and how … Continue reading

October 28, 2014 · 4 Comments

Bringing Comfort Through Music at the End of Life

“Can you visit Daniel? There is nothing more I can do for him…” Judy, a veteran hospice nurse, told me about the new patient who was admitted to our hospice … Continue reading

October 26, 2014 · 2 Comments

Do I have to be musical to benefit from music therapy?

“Do I have to be musical to benefit from music therapy?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions about music therapy. But what does it even mean to be … Continue reading

July 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

“I’m Thankful for My Illness” – Dying with ALS

“I’m thankful for my illness,” said Steve one day.  I was shocked. Steve was a patient with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), one of the … Continue reading

June 1, 2014 · 8 Comments

Do people know when they’re dying?

Do people know when they’re dying? My patients often say, “I want to die,” when they’ve grown tired of living with terminally illnesses.  Sometimes their words change from “I want to … Continue reading

April 7, 2014 · 4 Comments

“Hamabe no uta” – Japanese folk song about memory and reflection

Hamabe no uta (Song of the Beach) is one of the most popular and beloved Japanese folk songs written in 1914. When I was working as a music therapist at hospice … Continue reading

February 9, 2014 · 7 Comments

Why I became a hospice music therapist

“Why did you become a hospice music therapist?”  This was often the first question my patients and families would ask me when I was working at hospice.  Many of them … Continue reading

January 27, 2014 · 1 Comment

It it depressing to work at hospice?

Is it depressing to work at hospice?  I’ve been asked this question many times before, and I can understand why people may think that hospice work must be sad and … Continue reading

January 6, 2014 · 13 Comments

Music expresses what words can not

The mood at hospice was somber when I arrived on the sunny spring day.  My colleague told me that it had been a very sad morning, because one of our … Continue reading

December 16, 2013 · 5 Comments

Coping with grief during the holiday

The holiday season can be stressful for everyone, especially for those who are grieving.   Holidays come with so much expectations, and you’re supposed to be joyous, grateful, and celebratory. … Continue reading

November 28, 2013 · 13 Comments

What can we learn from the dying?

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. ”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt In my previous post “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine: Song about … Continue reading

November 18, 2013 · 6 Comments

Music in the moment of death

In the last post, “Hearing is the last sense to go,” I wrote about a non-responsive patient who demonstrated her awareness of sounds during her music therapy session.  Since then … Continue reading

November 11, 2013 · 10 Comments

Hearing is the last sense to go

Persons at the end of life can still hear, even though they may not be able to speak or open their eyes.  When I tell my patients’ families that hearing … Continue reading

November 4, 2013 · 7 Comments

“The Best Way Out is Always Through” ~ coping with grief

“The best way out is always through” – Robert Frost When I was a music therapy intern, I visited a middle school to work with bereaved children once a week. … Continue reading

October 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” – Song about ordinary happiness

People who have lived a full life can look back at their lives and say something like, “It’s had ups and downs, but I’ve had a good life.”  As they … Continue reading

October 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

Power of music

Music has always been an important part of my life, and I knew in an abstract term that there was something magical about music.  But I didn’t fully understand the … Continue reading

October 7, 2013 · 2 Comments

Yumiko Sato Music Therapy

Hello.  I’m a board certified music therapist, specializing in hospice and palliative care music therapy. After 10 years of working with hospice patients and families in the U.S, I recently … Continue reading

September 27, 2013 · 2 Comments
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