Texas Children's Hospital launches music therapy program for babies in neonatal intensive care unit and inpatient rehabilitation

HOUSTON - (Aug. 28, 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. Click here to watch a video about Texas Children's Music Therapy program.

Music therapy, as defined by The American Music Therapy Association, is the clinical and evidence-based use of music to accomplish individualized goals. 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.

"Music therapy is about providing families with the tools to interact and bond with their babies," said Amy Smith, board certified music therapist at Texas Children's Hospital. "When a parent has a very small and very sick baby, they may be unable to hold or touch their newborn and music therapy can encourage bonding through songs and lullabies."

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.

The Music Therapy program is a part of the Creative Arts Therapy program in the Child Life Department which provides developmental, educational and therapeutic interventions for children undergoing medical treatment. For more information about music therapy visit, www.texaschildrens.org.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.