At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, our music therapists provide therapy services to patients in the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) and the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s.
Our music therapists help children and adolescents:
- Manage pain.
- Express emotions.
- Improve thinking.
- Develop social skills and relate to others through music.
- Improve movement and strength.
- Develop the ability to speak and communicate.
- Relieve stress.
- Decrease pain or anxiety during medical procedures.
A therapy session may include:
- Playing musical instruments.
- Singing or humming.
- Listening to music.
- Moving or exercising to music.
- Writing or composing music.
- Working with multimedia music resources.
Our music therapists have designed these activities to help your child become healthier.
Your Child’s Visit
We will observe the way your child participates in music activities to learn about his therapy needs. This helps us determine the treatment areas that need attention. During the first meeting, we will learn about your child’s musical preferences, interest level and history.
We use this information to develop your child’s music therapy plan. Once this plan is developed, we may provide services individually, in peer groups, with the family or during other therapy sessions.
The music therapist is part of your child’s treatment team. She works alongside other team members, such as:
- Cognition and memory impairment
- Decreased mobility
- Developmental delays
- Learning disabilities
- Infants with high-risk problems
- Long-term medical illness
- Physical injuries and disabilities
- Speech-language problems
Benefits of Music Therapy
Research has shown that music therapy can:
- Develop motivation to participate in therapies.
- Create a relaxation response to help prevent negative effects of stress.
- Vocal and verbal expression
- Affect your child’s physiological functions, such as:
- Aid in deeper breathing.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Lower stress hormones.
- Improve immune system functioning and oxygen intake.
- Increase endorphins (natural pain and stress fighting chemicals in the brain).
- Improve your child’s movement, such as:
- Walking or moving
- Upper and lower body motion
- Gross (large movement—running and jumping) and fine (small movement—using your fingers) motor skills
- Pain management without drugs
The American Music Therapy Association has several resources describing the benefits of music therapy.