Our team uses music to address non-musical goals for children and families in the medical setting.
What is Music Therapy?
Patients at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital enjoy music therapy in individual and group sessions that help children and families cope with pain, stress, fear, isolation, medical procedures and being in the hospital. Research shows that music affects mental, physical and emotional states. These qualities make it a valuable and effective tool in helping children and families recover their health and wellbeing, especially within the hospital.
Music therapy is the use of music to achieve specific, non-musical goals and is provided by a board-certified music therapist. Our music therapists work with physicians, nurses, Child Life specialists, and other staff in a team approach to address the individual needs of each patient and his or her family.
The benefits of music therapy include, but are not limited to:
- Relief from pain and discomfort
- Reduction of stress
- Improved understanding of medical treatment
- Improved coping
- Empowerment to participate and have control in treatment
- Strengthened family bonds
- Continued developmental growth
- Improved patient and family satisfaction
The Music Therapy Department currently serves all medical, surgical, oncology and intensive care inpatient units, as well as our outpatient clinics within the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute.
Referrals are made through any staff member on the team (nurses, physicians, Child Life specialists and more) and can be requested by families.
Additionally, in partnership with Music Sweet Music, Inc., music therapy groups are also available to children through our outpatient Speech and Language Department and our outpatient Physical Therapy Department.
Currently, our music therapy team provides services from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
History of Music Therapy at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Music therapy has been a part of the interdisciplinary team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital since 1993. Through generous donations and funding by community members throughout the years, music therapy has existed as a full-time program in collaboration with the Child Life Department. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has also served as a national roster clinical training site for music therapy interns and has resulted in the training of numerous music therapists. Since the inception of the music therapy program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, more than 22,000 patient interactions have occurred within music therapy.
See inspiring stories about how music brings joy to our patients:
Most people have, in some way throughout their lives, experienced the very personal and almost mystical impact of music — by way of its sheer power to uplift or evoke some other strong emotion. A music therapist can calm an infant who is struggling through withdrawal symptoms or motivate a young child with no appetite to eat by writing songs with them about mac-n-cheese.
Volunteers Madison and Maximus share their love of music by playing in the hospital lobby each week