Published on Aug 22, 2013
Texas Children’s Hospital has launched a new program that provides
music therapy to babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the inpatient rehabilitation unit.
In the NICU, music therapy involves assisting families with infant bonding through the use of song, songwriting and cautious introduction of nurturing stimulation, before most other types of interaction are appropriate. Recent studies show premature infants benefit from music therapy. The gentle rhythmic qualities of lullabies help create a more supportive environment during critical periods of brain development that may help improve outcomes.
For children in the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Texas Children’s, music therapy focuses on incorporating rehabilitation goals into fun and motivating music interventions. Music is processed globally in the brain so music therapy can help patients with brain injuries access skills and functions through different brain pathways. Music therapy can provide motivation for difficult and challenging tasks and song writing or music video creation can be an outlet for emotional needs during long hospitalizations.