Not everyone can make an IV seem like a fun experience. Child Life can.
Child Life and Music Therapists often work in tandem to assess and meet the needs of their pediatric patients. Using music as a way to cope can help many children when they are in the hospital. Music therapy has been clinically proven to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of children, making it a perfect addition to any pediatric facility. One of the ways enCourage Kids Foundation supports the Child Life Community is by funding music therapy programs for their pediatric patients. In 2018 alone, enCourage Kids awarded more than $100,000 in grants to continue or establish music therapy programs in pediatric facilities around the country.
Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s music therapy program has been funded by enCourage Kids since 2013. In their pediatric facility, they have one unit where the use of music therapy is especially beneficial for patients: the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit. According to Child Life at Blythedale, “Research [on Music Therapy] has been proven to decrease stress hormones, stabilize heart rate, and stimulate brain activity and recovery even when patients are in vegetative or minimally conscious states.” Participating in a music therapy session as a group allows for opportunities in socializing and teamwork for hospitalized children, as well as promoting peer support among the patients who can relate to each other’s experiences and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Music therapy can also be helpful in encouraging patients to reach their physical goals. A child’s participation in music therapy serves as exercise, making moving more fun and motivating, but not less work. Additionally, it can be used to support speech therapy goals because singing uses the voice in a clearer way.
We have seen first-hand the incredible impact music therapy can have on hospitalized children, regardless of what they are experiencing. It can make a good day even better. It can make a hard day a little bit more bearable. It can make procedures less stressful. We are proud to support pediatric facilities around the country in providing music therapy to their patients.
If you have any stories about how music therapy has impacted your life or you are a Music Therapist and want to share your story, please email our Communications Manager, Mallory, or comment below.