The Music Therapy Program at Wolfson aims to treat the whole child and to minimize the stress associated with hospitalization and illness. Music-based interventions are designed to help children reach their physical, psychological, developmental and emotional goals.
The music therapist is consulted for services on all units. Some of the goals addressed include:
Normalizing the hospital environment
Increasing control over the environment
Increasing coping skills
Enhancing pain management
Eliminating or decreasing sedation for procedures
Decreasing anxiety and depression
Music therapy techniques used to address these goals may include:
Songwriting/ Lyric substitution
The Music Therapy Program has a limited amount of recorded music and listening equipment available for loan throughout the hospital. The music therapist will develop a personalized recorded music program after an assessment of the child's preferences and hospitalization circumstances.
- Research shows music is effective in reducing both acute and chronic pain.
- Music can "mask" distressing environmental sounds.
- The body responds to music physiologically; changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, levels of oxygen and muscular tension have all been documented.
- Music can be used to stimulate and synchronize movement.
- Playing music instruments can help improve motor skills.
- Playing a wind instrument or singing may help to develop deep and strengthened breathing.
- Music can improve awareness and level of consciousness.
- Music is processed in many regions of the brain and has been helpful in the rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries or neurologic deficits.
- Music can change a person's mood and create a non-verbal outlet for expression; it is effective in treating both depression and anxiety.
- Music has been linked to strengthened immune systems.
- Research findings report that premature infants receiving music therapy gain weight quicker, remain calmer, and use oxygen more efficiently.
- Music can motivate, stimulate and relax; it is a natural, normal, meaningful and healthful aspect of a child's life.