Music Therapy

Our Mission

The Music Therapy department, consisting of Board Certified Music Therapists, strives to effectuate positive therapeutic changes in patients and families through the clinical and evidence-based implementation of music to achieve individualized goals.

Music Therapy Values

Music therapists strive to improve clinical outcomes by assessing and addressing an individual's specific need areas.

A Music Therapist may help your child by:

  • Providing support during non-sedate medical procedures by using music as distraction.
  • Providing pain management through music and relaxation techniques.
  • Engaging the patient in therapeutic and expressive activities that include both verbal and non-verbal forms of emotional expression.
  • Encouraging the patient's compliance with the medical plan of care by using music as positive reinforcement.
  • Facilitating general body movement using the patient's preferred music.
  • Allowing the patient opportunities to practice speech and communication skills through singing and active music making.
  • Promoting opportunities for family bonding and interaction in the hospital environment.
  • Creating a normalized environment by using familiar music in the session and then incorporating music as part of the patient's routine while in the hospital.

Therapeutic Interventions used by our Music Therapists may include:

  • Active Music Making: May include both singing and instrument play using the patient's preferred music or music familiar to the patient in order to address attention skills, language/speech skills, sensorimotor skills, and/or emotional skills.
  • Drumming: Can be experienced either one-on-one or in a group setting to promote social interaction. By learning simple hand drumming techniques, patients are given a tool for coping with their hospital experience.
  • Lyric Analysis: Allows a patient to explore the meaning, structure and lyrics of a song to allow opportunities to practice emotion identification, executive functioning skills, and encourage self-expression.
  • Music and Art: By combining these two fine arts, patients engage in a creative process to provide opportunities for emotional identification and self-expression, to facilitate reminiscing, and practice sustained attention skills.
  • Music with Guided Imagery: Promotes relaxation and positive coping skills. This intervention can be used to decrease anxiety and stress for the patient.
  • Music and Multimodal Stimulation (MMS): A combination of singing, a touch progression and rocking to promote opportunities for premature infants to not only bond with their parents but also increase their tolerance to the sensory environment around them.
  • Music and Relaxation: Can be used to promote sleep or comfort through live music listening.
  • Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL): This device is used to develop and increase the coordination of a premature infant's non-nutritive suck in order to prepare them for a successful transfer to bottle/breast feeding.
  • Songwriting: Provides opportunities for creative self-expression, emotion identification, as well as reflection. This intervention also provides opportunities to explore decision making skills, can help increase self-esteem, and often is used to express the patient's medical journey and life experiences.
  • Therapeutic Instrument Lesson: Unlike in regular music lessons, the ultimate goal is not mastering a new skill but rather providing the patient with a meaningful distraction, a positive coping technique, and an outlet for expression all while increasing their self-confidence.
For more information on Music Therapy at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, please call