Music Therapy

Also known as: Creative Arts Therapy.

What is music therapy?

Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music therapists strive to improve clinical outcomes by assessing and addressing an individual’s specific need areas. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings.


What happens during the treatment?

  • A music therapist may help your hospitalized 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.


Is any special preparation needed?

A consult is required in order for music therapy to be offered to a patient. The consult can be placed by a doctor or nurse through the electronic medical record. Once a consult is received, the music therapist (MT) will review the patient’s chart notes or reach out to receive handoffs from treatment team members as needed.

The MT will meet with the patient and family to introduce music therapy services and identify patient needs and preferences. Based on the findings from the assessment, the MT will determine if music therapy services would be beneficial, and if so, develop patient specific goals and create a plan of care.


What are the risk factors?

Music Therapist will determine upon assessment any possible risk factors or perceivable adverse effects. Risk factors may include: developmental vulnerability including aggression, issues with sensory integration such as overstimulation, previous emotional or physical trauma that may be triggered with music, or any preconceived negative associations that a patient may have towards music in general. The therapist will create a specialized treatment plan adapted to treat patients with these needs.


Reviewed by: Evan Privoznik, MM, MT-BC

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 1:29:45 AM

Weekly Support Programs

Camp DMC

Camp DMC is a summer program for children with special needs run by Nicklaus Children’s Dan Marino Outpatient Center. Please note: We will not offer Camp DMC during summer of 2019. Learn more.