Pediatric Music Therapy
From birth, music can have a profound effect on the growth and development of children. Music can soothe and pacify, promote learning, and offer a sense of security in a time of uncertainty. At Florida Hospital for Children, the team of highly trained music therapists uses live music therapy interventions to help children physiologically, emotionally, socially, and neurologically.
Music therapy is the clinical use of music by a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) to help patients reach individualized goals. Some of the goals that we work on with our pediatric population include:
- Pain reduction and management
- Decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Promoting motor rehabilitation and development
- Improving functional communication
- Improving neurological development
- Increasing and promoting positive coping skills
- Normalizing environment
- Improving physical rehabilitation and development
- Increasing socialization
- Eliminating or decreasing sedation for pediatric procedures
Music therapy sessions incorporate interventions that have been shown effective through research. These interventions include improvisation, songwriting, lyric analysis, song discussion, music assisted relaxation and imagery, therapeutic instrumental music performance, and developmental speech/language and cognitive musical exercises
Inpatient Individual Music Therapy Session
In our one-on-one sessions, the patient gets to interact with the music therapist in the privacy of his/her own hospital room. In these sessions, the patient is involved in a variety of experiences that are interactive or passive in nature, based on the patient’s needs. Patients are involved using instruments and other developmentally-appropriate materials as well as participating in expressive activities, such as songwriting and music improvisation.
Inpatient Music Therapy Groups
We provide weekly music therapy groups in the units to give pediatric patients a chance to socialize with other patients through active music engagement. Group music therapy experiences are designed to bring the patients together in a fun, music making environment that gives them the chance to lead activities and play with a variety of instruments and materials. The music therapy groups focus on normalizing the hospital environment and give the patients a chance to talk about different issues relating to the hospital environment through expressive music activities.
Music Therapy in Neonatal Intensive Care
At a time when babies are usually growing and developing in their mother’s womb, premature infants are exposed to the busy medical environment of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and commonly endure painful treatments and procedures. The critical process of neurological development that takes place during the third trimester can be disrupted due to the stress these infants experience outside of the womb. NICU music therapy research shows that specific music therapy techniques help to increase premature infants’ tolerance to stimulation, resulting in faster weight gain, and a decreased length of stay. NICU Music Therapy trained MT-BC’s use research-based interventions with premature infant patients. The first intervention is Multi-modal Neurodevelopmental Enhancement, which helps increase each baby’s tolerance to different types of stimulation in the NICU. Using live lullaby, infant-directed music, the music therapist systematically administers three different types of stimulation – auditory, tactile, and vestibular. Through this process, each baby learns to tolerate the different sounds in the NICU as well as being touched and held. The second treatment involves using a device called the pacifier-activated lullaby (PAL) and is used to provide non-nutritive sucking and help preemies transition successfully in feeding. Research shows that babies treated with the PAL can gain weight and leave the hospital faster.
Music Therapy at Outpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation
Music Therapy addresses the needs of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Music therapy can effectively address communication, interpersonal skills, motor, and cognitive development. Music therapy sessions in outpatient pediatric rehabilitation are success-oriented and involve children in musical exercises that are engaging and target individualized goals. Our music therapist works with you and your family to develop a plan and address goals that are relevant to your child.
Outpatient music therapy evaluation and treatment sessions are now being offered at Florida Hospital for Children Pediatric Rehabilitation (Downtown Orlando). Individual and group sessions are available.
Music therapy treats a wide-range of conditions, including:
- Pain reduction and management
- Developmental delay
- Autism-spectrum disorders
- Neurological impairment
- Socio-behavioral disorders
For more information on outpatient pediatric music therapy, please email Rebekah.Martin@FLHosp.org or call 407-303-5600 ext. 110-2812
Service Hours and Contact Information
The inpatient music therapy team is available Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5:30pm. Once a referral has been made by a Florida Hospital for Children staff member, a music therapist will come to provide therapy based on the patient’s needs. If there is a certain procedure with which you would like music therapy to assist after normal business hours, please contact music therapy staff for availability.
If you have any questions about our inpatient and outpatient music therapy services or would like to speak with a therapist, call Rich Moats, MT-BC, music therapy manager, Florida Hospital Orlando, at (407) 303-5600, ext. 110-3167 or email FHMusicTherapy@FLHosp.org
For more information on Music Therapy, please visit www.musictherapy.org