Music Therapy Helps Kids Heal

at The Bristol Myers-Squibb Children’s Hospital

The Bristol Myers-Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick has added music therapy to its highly regarded Child Life program to further enhance their ability to help children during their hospital experience.

Funded by the Joy in Childhood Foundation and other generous donors through the RWJ University Hospital Foundation, a board-certified music therapist is available to provide music interventions to address pain management, emotion regulation, increased opportunities for communication, developmental support, stress reduction, physical rehabilitation, bereavement support and more. The therapist assesses patients during one-on-one sessions to establish goals and design evidence-based music interventions to meet those goals.

What to Expect During Music Therapy Sessions

Depending on treatment goals and patients’ particular needs, a session might involve songwriting and composition, singing, instrument improvisation, music performance, lyric analysis, music-assisted relaxation, music sedation or song listening.

In addition to specialty instruments such as recording stethoscopes utilized for heartbeat recordings during bereavement circumstances and ocean drums that mimic the sounds of amniotic fluid for use with infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the music therapist is well-versed in a variety of musical styles and instruments including the guitar, piano and hand percussion.

Benefits of Musical Therapy in a Hospital Setting

Music therapy addresses children’s physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs.

  • Strengthen communication skills
  • Ease stress levels
  • Reduce perceived levels of pain
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve physical coordination, motor functions, and movement
  • Build social skills

The music therapist works in various units throughout BMSCH, with a focus on our pediatric, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

For more information, visit our Contact Us page and in the messaging area, select the service called Family-Centered Care.