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How Music Therapy Benefits Hospitalized Children

UCSF_kids_2_-_closerDFB San Francisco is working on a project with UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital right now to make life in the hospital a bit easier for kids unlucky enough to need to be there.  But, what do music and medicine have to do with each other?

Studies have shown that music is actually very beneficial for medical patients, including children.  Listening to music can slow your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and even reduce pain levels.  Music is also known to reduce anxiety prior to surgery, especially for very young children who can’t completely understand why they are being subjected to painful and invasive procedures.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidenced-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.”

The physical and psychological benefits are even greater when music therapy is offered by a trained professional, in contrast to simply playing recorded music in the hospital room.  Interacting with the music therapist allows for the activity to be tailored to the needs of the patient, as well as the opportunity to socialize and bond with the therapist, and perhaps other patients.

The $5,000 in funding that DFB is raising for Benioff Children’s hospital will go directly to providing group music therapy sessions, where kids can interact with each other and the trained music therapist.  Some of these sessions will be taking place in the dialysis unit, helping to soothe young patients through a long and painful process that’s part of their lives.  In addition, we’ll be covering 50 one-on-one bedside music therapy sessions for patients who are too sick to participate with the group.

If you missed the Art with Heart event in San Francisco in November, you can still contribute to the project!  Maybe we’ll even serenade you in thanks for your support.


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