Why music therapy?

Music provides hope, encouragement, joy and relaxation to everyone, so just imagine its powerful impact for kids going through treatment. As defined by the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Doctors across the country are increasingly prescribing music therapy as an alternative treatment option to help many patients. Singing, dancing and even just listening to music promotes wellbeing and helps patients cope with stress and pain.

Making music part of the cure for children increases emotional empowerment and resiliency, motivation, confidence, and treatment cooperation while decreasing treatment-related anxiety, nausea, and pain. These effects positively influence the entire treatment and recovery process.

Studies about the use of music therapy to treat young cancer patients include:

  • Nguyen TN, Nilsson S, Hellstrom AL, Bengston A. Music therapy to reduce pain and anxiety in children with cancer undergoing lumbar puncture: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Pediatric Oncology. 2010;27(3),146-155.

  • Shabanloei R, Golchin M, Esfahani A, Dolatkhah R, Rasoulian M. Effects of music therapy on pain and anxiety in patients undergoing bone marrow biopsy and aspiration. AORN. 2010; 91:746-751.

For more information about music therapy and to find a music therapist near you, please visit the AMTA at www.musictherapy.org.