Music therapy

Music therapy is available to all Nebraska Medicine pediatric patients. Through individualized assessment and evidence-based treatment planning, music therapy services are customized to each child's preferences, abilities and needs to protect their overall wellbeing during and long after hospitalization. 

Referrals for music therapy can be made by a member of the medical care team, the child’s caregiver, or the child themselves.  

One of our music therapy experts helps a small child play guitar.

Benefits of music therapy

For children and adolescents, music therapy can: 

  • Provide developmental support 
    • Improve cognitive, fine/gross motor, speech/language, and social/emotional skills 
  • Encourage psychosocial support 
    • Improve coping skills 
    • Normalize the hospital environment 
    • Encourage autonomy and choice making 
    • Increase self-esteem 
    • Provide a safe avenue for expression and disclosure 
  • Help neurological functioning 
    • Promote physical rehabilitation 
    • Offer motor/respiratory exercises 
    • Provide sensory integrative techniques 
  • Encourage legacy building 
    • Encourage memory making 
    • Offer a therapeutic presence 
    • Provide recordings/multimedia legacy projects 

For  premature infants, music therapy can: 

  • Enhance sensory organization/regulation skills 
  • Reduce perception of pain/discomfort 
  • Support parent-child bonding and normal caregiver interactions 
  • Reinforce overall development 
  • Improve quality of life 
  • Celebrate the child’s abilities, spontaneity, and personality 
  • Provide family and staff physical/emotional respite 
  • Promote suck strength, pacing, and endurance 

Types of music therapy interventions 

For children and adolescents, we can provide the following types of music therapy interventions: 

  • Developmental musical play 
  • Guided imagery 
  • Instrument exploration 
  • Movement to music 
  • Multimedia legacy project 
  • Musical game 
  • Improvisation 
  • Therapeutic instrument instruction 
  • Music-assisted relaxation 
  • Therapeutic singing 
  • Lyric analysis/discussion 
  • Songwriting 

For premature infants and their parents, we can provide the following types of music therapy interventions: 

  • Parent consult on uses of music to promote infant development 
  • Live music listening 
  • Multimodal Neurologic Enhancement (MNE)  
  • Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) 
  • Recording of parent voices 
  • Caregiver songwriting 

Have questions? We're here to help.

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