Music Licensing Protocols for Hospitals


Music licensing protocols for hospitals and dental facilities are largely unknown…to the hospital side of the equation.  Music licensing has been around for a long time, but sadly, music is one of those things that most people just believe should be free!!  Nevermind that composers and performers spend hours and hours studying their craft and spend years and years trying to bring their music to the public.

The primary music licensing organizations are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.  For the first time, they now have a division that is dedicated to licensing music in healthcare facilities.  Many hospitals and clinics don’t realize that you can’t just purchase an individual subscription to Pandora, Spotify, or Apple Music, and then use that with patients in a hospital, even if you have an Apple “Family Plan!”

I spoke at length a few days ago to the official hospital music licensing person at ASCAP in Nashville and she acknowledged that this is all relatively new, but they are getting the word out now that hospitals must have licenses to play music for patients, even if patients are not being charged in any way.  Ever since the Music Modernization Act a few years ago, things have changed for the better.  Finally composers and performers can be paid for the hard work that they have done to produce tha music that we all love and that can be healing, pain-relieving, and simply distracting for the person in a hospital.

healthy resting heartbeat entrains to music through headphones

Patient enjoying serene music that entrains with healthy resting heartbeat

Have you been in the hospital?  It’s not a pleasant way to spend your time, unless perhaps you just had a baby through a uncomplicated labor and delivery!  Hospitals have people who are seriously ill and are in Intensive Care, and they also have patients who are basically healthy but need a knee or hip replaced.  Then there are the people who are there simply for a diagnostic test such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy.  All of these people could benefit from soothing, calming, therapeutic music, but when people use commercial music that has not been curated and sequenced by a music medicine or music therapy professional, you’re taking a chance of not getting the results you want.

And if you’re listening to music on an unlicensed version of Pandora, Spotify, or Apple Music Family Sharing, you’re probably going to be listening to ads interrupting your serenity.

That’s why we have created our five therapeutic playlists in a format that can be licensed by hospitals and healthcare facilities.  Want more information?  Please fill out a contact form on our website.

To hear samples of our playlists, go to