Helping people reach their full potential through music.

Music Therapy helps individuals live their best lives despite challenges.

Northshore Music Therapy, Inc. specializes in dementia care, with additional experience in oncology and developmental disabilities. Meet board-certified music therapist Nancy Swanson here.

Services are provided in north Chicago neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs, including Park Ridge, Glenview, Skokie, and Evanston.

Nancy Swanson, MA, MT-BC
Owner of Northshore Music Therapy, Inc.

“Nancy knows how to reach beyond residents living with dementia and reach the individual person through her creative approaches in memory recall and engagement.”

Unlocking Potential

Music Therapy provides stimulation and encourages positive changes in mood and emotional well-being.

Promoting Wellness

Music Therapy reduces stress, anxiety, and pain for adults and caregivers/families.

Supporting Communication

Music Therapy offers opportunities for verbal and nonverbal interactions.

Fostering Interaction

Music Therapy helps families share experiences, reminisce, and spend time together in a meaningful way.

Ready to get started in Music Therapy?

Our Offerings

Where words fail, music speaks…

Music Therapy sessions typically last from 30-60 minutes.
Contact us for session rates.

Find an offering that fits your needs

Meet Nancy

I received my bachelor’s degree from The University of Iowa and my Master’s degree from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, where I was awarded the Leadership and Service Award in 2011. I worked for 10 years at the Alzheimer’s Family Care Center, a division of RUSH Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. From there, I launched a music therapy practice in 2002, and I am currently doing business as Northshore Music Therapy, Inc.

Additional Trainings include:

  • Professional Music and Imagery Training- 2013
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Music Therapy Certification- 2007
  • Dementia Care Mapping Courses-2006

As a board-certified music therapist, I strive to be apprised of the latest research and be actively involved in professional organizations in order to best serve my clients, and in turn, my company. I belong to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), the Illinois Association for Music Therapy (IAMT), and the Certification Board for Music Therapists. I am the Government Relations Chair for IAMT and the Great Lakes Region of AMTA, where we are working for state recognition of music therapy through licensure. In recognition of this advocacy work, I was awarded the IAMT Service Award in 2015 and 2018, and, in addition, awarded the Changemaker Award, a national recognition given by the American Music Therapy Association. Taking an active role in my professional organizations helps to keep the profession of music therapy advancing, therefore increasing the number of people who will benefit.

My husband, Paul, and I are long-time residents of Park Ridge, IL, where we raised our two daughters. For my own musical fulfillment, I play the oboe in the Northshore Concert Band, one of the nation’s premier concert bands.


For over 15 years, I have worked with Nancy as the music therapist for Without Warning, our large support program for families living with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. She is absolutely wonderful. Along with her musical skills, her kindness, compassion, and ability to reach people with limited verbal ability is unmatched. I don’t know if it came naturally or if she had to work at it, but Nancy has the skill of presence. She is able to focus on that one or group of people, making them feel connected, relevant and valued.

She is a true asset to our program and would be to yours.

Susan Frick, MSW, LSW, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center

I utilized Nancy’s music therapy services for my dad when he was placed in hospice care. Nancy worked with my dad one on one for about 3-3 1/2 years.

I wanted to try and find ways to bring some normalcy to my dad’s life and Nancy proved to be that normalcy. She brought my dad immense joy, peace, happiness and worthiness. Nancy’s sessions allowed him to become his “old self” again.

They not only sang and played instruments but she took the time to record his singing and today I, as well as my brothers and other family members have his voice recording on at least 20 albums. This was the best gift I could have received .

I could never thank Nancy enough for the tremendous impact she had on my dad. If it were not for Nancy, I guarantee that his life would not have had as much meaning as it did.

Nancy is the most kind, gentle, gifted/talented music therapist I have ever met and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to add more meaning in their own or their loved ones life.

Thank you, Nancy.

Regina, Elmwood Park, Illinois

Residents, families, and staff love Nancy Swanson because of the impact she makes every time she steps foot in Central Baptist Village. Nancy knows how to reach beyond residents living with dementia and reach the individual person through her creative approaches in memory recall and engagement. The staff witness and talk about how Nancy improves our residents’ well-being and quality of life by improving their mood. Because of Nancy, we are seeing real reductions in our residents’ agitation, anxiety, and depression and we are able to monitor through individual care plan interventions.

Families rave about Nancy and ask when she will be in next; they see their loved ones happy in her presence and it gives them peace of mind. Nancy has a special talent in music but it is so much more than that; it is her way with people. She is kind, compassionate, and patient. She is making a difference in our community and we are so lucky to have found her.

Melissa Cosentino, MSW, CDP, Central Baptist Village

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