Music is an important part of many of our lives – it can play an important part in your child’s healing process, too. Our board-certified music therapists at Levine Children’s Hospital work alongside doctors, nurses and families to help kids of all ages have the best quality of life before, during and after treatment.

If your child is currently a patient at Levine Children’s Hospital, ask your doctor, nurse or child life specialist if a music therapy visit is right for them.

Music therapy is the clinical use of music to help patients accomplish health goals while they’re in the hospital. Our board-certified music therapists have completed years of education, including from a qualified music therapy program, and they’re an expert part of your child’s clinical care team.

Music therapy can include everything from a child listening to music and singing – all the way to discussing and writing powerful lyrics that help them describe how they feel. And lullabies led by music therapists are a soothing way for babies in the NICU to start the healing process.

Music therapy provides physical, mental, emotional and social benefits to our young patients, as well as their families. It can be a positive part of their time in the hospital and help them find healthy ways of coping with difficult treatments.

Researched benefits of music therapy include:

  • Improved breathing, blood flow, cognition, communication and motor skills
  • Pain and discomfort management
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased length of stay
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Positive changes in mood
  • Engagement and participation in treatment
  • Promotion of confidence and empowerment

Additionally, music therapy might provide some age-specific benefits.

For infants and toddlers:

  • Provides developmental stimulation
  • Optimizes brain’s ability to learn and focus, as well as form memories and social skills
  • Relieves symptoms related to substance withdrawal

For children and young adults:

  • Promotes healthy forms of coping and self-expression
  • Helps them process and navigate through traumatic experiences
  • Builds positive self-esteem
  • Encourages a sense of independence and opportunities for control

The music therapists at Levine Children’s Hospital are available Monday to Friday by a scheduled session. In some cases, a member of your child’s care team might request an individual session. You can also contact our music therapists directly, or ask a doctor, nurse or child life specialist if music therapy is right for your child.

Your child doesn’t need any previous experience in music to participate. Sessions may include one or a combination of instruments, like voice, guitar, piano, drums, small percussion and electronics.

For our newborn patients, we also offer specially recorded lullabies in addition to individual sessions, designed to introduce sound simulation in a safe, soothing way.

  • Organizations we partner with: Levine Children’s Hospital is closely affiliated with well-known music therapy organizations, including Certification Board for Music Therapists, American Music Therapy Association and Ukulele Kids Club, Inc.
  • Volunteering: Because it’s a clinical service, we’re not able to offer volunteer opportunities for music therapy. Music performances may be arranged through Seacrest Studios.
  • Shadowing: We offer limited shadow and observation opportunities on a case-by-case basis. If available, prioritization is considered for music therapy students completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree at an approved music therapy program.
  • Internships: We have full-time internship opportunities for qualified music therapy students. See current openings and how to apply.

Music therapy helps newborns with opioid exposure start the healing process.