Therese Schroeder-Sheker

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Therese Schroeder-Sheker is a musician, educator, clinician, and academic dean of the School of Music-Thanatology, which was housed at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana from 1992 to 2002.

Schroeder-Sheker, using voice and harp, works as a music-thanatologist, a relatively new discipline, where the practitioner works with those who are actively dying (24–48 hours) or have received a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of less than six months. The goals of music-thanatology include reduction of physical as well as emotional pain, creation of a supportive environment while dying, helping the patient become more conscious of their own death process, and changing the approach to death within established structures (hospices, hospitals, etc.). Schroeder-Sheker was honored by the New York Open Center [1] in 1997 for her "Music Thanatology". Her music has been used in documentaries and released commercially.

CD and Video[edit]

Schroeder-Sheker has produced numerous recorded works. Among those works are:

  • Celebrant: The Historical Harp, (cassette tape), Lady Reason Records. (1984)
  • The Queen's Minstrel, (CD) Windham Hill Records. (1988), Valley Entertainment. (2011)[1]
  • Rosa Mystica, Celestial Harmonies (1989)
  • In Dulci Jubilo (Sweet Joy) Celestial Harmonies (1991)
  • Inside the Miracle: Enduring Illness, Approaching Wholeness, spoken words by Mark Nepo. Parabola AudioTapes (1996)
  • Chalice of Repose: A Contemplative Musician's Approach to Death and Dying. videotape, 1997 (Palm Springs International Film Festival first place award).
  • Therese Schroeder-Sheker and The Chalice of Repose Project: A Contemplative Musician's Approach to Death and Dying", DVD, Pleroma Press, 2007.


Hollis, Jennifer L. (April 2010). Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage. Praeger. ISBN 978-0-313-36220-0.

"I Heard the Call of the Seraph", essay in the anthology So That You May be One: From the Visions of Joa Bolendas, Lindisfarne Books, 1997.

Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World monograph, St. Dunstan's Press, 2001.

1991 – The Chalice of Repose at St. Thomas, television video documentary, Jim Phelan Productions, Denver, Colorado.

1993 – “Music for the Dying: The New Field of Music-Thanatology,” in Advances, Journal of Mind/Body Health, Volume 9, Number 1, John E. Fetzer Institute.

1994-2000 Chalice of Repose Project Clinical Handbook, 1st-4th editions. St. Dunstan’s Press.

1994 – “Music for the Dying, “ in Noetic Sciences Review, Number 31

1994 – “Music for the Dying,” in Caduceus, Issue 23, London

1994 – “Music for the Dying: A Personal Account of the New Field of Music-Thanatology – History, Theories, and Clinical Narratives,” in Journal of Holistic Nursing, Volume 12, No. 1, Sage Periodicals Press.

1995 – The Chalice of Repose Project, television documentary for CNN News, producer Dan Rutz.

1996 – “Death and the Chalice of Repose Project: Prescriptive Music and the Art of Dying,” in Lapis: Inner Meaning and Contemporary Life, Volume 2, New York Open Center Publications.

1996 – Inside the Miracle: Enduring Illness, Approaching Wholeness, Mark Nepo and Therese Schroeder-Sheker, Parabola Audio Library.

1996 – The Gift: the Chalice of Repose Project, Christopher Award-winning television documentary for ABC.

1996 – Therese Schroeder-Sheker: Music and the Art of Dying, PBS television broadcast for Thinking Allowed, producer, Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove.

1997 – Therese Schroeder-Sheker and The Chalice of Repose: A Contemplative Musician’s Approach to Death and Dying, a Fetzer-funded documentary video and 19 page program guide, producers Paul & Jennifer Kaufman, Sounds True.

1998 – “Shaping a Sanctuary with Sound: Music-Thanatology and the Care of the Dying,” Pastoral Music, Volume 22:3; National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

1998 – Heart Strings: Chalice of Repose Project, television documentary for NBC.

1998 – The Geography of the Soul, CD recording and 28 page booklet, Sapientia Music. 1998.

2001 – The Chalice of Repose Project: Changing the Way We Live and Die, Soule Family Foundation funded publication for Chalice of Repose Project, Missoula, Mt.

2001 – “Music-Thanatology and the Spiritual Care of the Dying,” Interview with Bonnie Horrigan in Alternative Therapies, Volume 7, Number 1. InnoVision Communication.

2002 – “The Last Note: How Music Wakens and Heals,” in Parabola, Vol. 27, No. 2.

2003 – “Music-Thanatology and Spiritual Care of the Dying” in Voices of Integrative Medicine, edited by Bonnie Horrigan for Churchill Livingstone and Elsevier Science.

2004 – "Choosing Beauty: The Mystical Path of Increasing Invisibility" in Volume 5, Summer 2004 issue of Sophia, Journal of the School of Spiritual Psychology.

2004 – "Orpheus and the Eternal: Faithfulness, Vision & Fine-Tuning" in Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture # 71 - ORPHEUS. September, 2004.

2005 – “Contemplative Musicianship and Liminality” for the Pleroma Press Contemplative Musicianship Series, Volume 1 of 10.

2005 – “Integration and Healing: Grief, Memory, Sleep, Joy,” for the Pleroma Press Contemplative Musicianship Series, Volume 10 of 10. (also Volumes 2-9)

2006 – “The Principles of Prescriptive Music:Volumes 1-10,” for the Pleroma Press Music-Thanatology Series.

2006 – "The Vox Feminae: Choosing and Being as Christian Form and Praxis," chapter in Practicing Catholic: Ritual, Body and Contestation in Catholic Faith, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

2007 – "Letting Go: The Paradox of Cultural Competence in End-of-Life Care," article in the "Transitus" column of Explore: the Journal of Science and Healing, (Elsevier Science) Volume 3, Number 2, March 2007.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Queen's Minstrel". Valley Entertainment-Windham Hill Records. Retrieved 19 January 2011.