The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of music listening on postoperative anxiety and intubation time in patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery. Coronary artery disease and valvular heart disease affect approximately 15 million Americans and 5 million persons in the U.K. annually, with the majority of these patients being older adults. The anxiety experienced before, during and after surgery increases cardiovascular workload, thereby prolonging recovery time. Music listening as a nursing intervention has shown an ability to reduce anxiety. The study used a randomized control trial design. Sixty adults older than 65 years were randomly assigned to the control and the experimental groups. The experimental group listened to music during and after surgery, while the control group received standard postoperative care. The Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory was administered to both groups before surgery and 3 days postoperatively. The mean of the differences between scores was compared using analysis of variance. Differences in mean intubation time were measured in both groups. Older adults who listened to music had lower scores on the state anxiety test (F = 5.57, p = .022) and had significantly fewer minutes of postoperative intubation (F = 5.45, p = .031) after cardiovascular surgery. Older adults undergoing cardiovascular surgery who listen to music had less anxiety and reduced intubation time than those who did not.