What is music therapy

Music therapy can help babies, children and young people cope and adjust while they’re in hospital in many ways. This includes supporting them if they’re scared about being in hospital or worried about having an operation or a medical procedure. It can help parents feel more connected with their child and show parents how to use music for this connection.

Music therapy can also help young people relax, sleep better and deal with pain.

Your child's medical team can check to see if music therapy is available in their ward and refer them to us.

How music therapy works

Most families use music as part of their everyday life and that can really help them when they’re in hospital. Connecting with music at this time can remind them of the positive ways music can make them think and feel.

Music therapists use a range of musical activities to support your child's needs. These depend on your child's age and their ability.

These may include:

  • singing
  • song writing
  • improvisation
  • playing instruments
  • music listening
  • music-assisted relaxation.

Your child's music therapy program

The music therapist starts by gathering information to understand your child’s situation and needs. This is used to design a program specifically for your child. They don’t need to have prior musical experience or skills to benefit from music therapy.

Music therapy for young people

Young people can develop their own program and explore a range of activities and choose what feels right for them.

This can include:

  • writing songs
  • improvisation
  • singing their favorite songs
  • making music videos.

Our music therapists

Our therapists are qualified and registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association.

Registered music therapists (RMTs) have studied:

  • all aspects of music performance and theory
  • models of therapeutic intervention
  • psychology
  • physiology
  • social theory.

You can read more about music therapy on the Australian Music Therapy Association website.

My Hospital Music

We've written and recorded 16 songs for children in hospital. You can use these songs to support your child's development. These songs can also help them settle and cope in hospital, and the times in between being in hospital and at home.

View and download songs in the My Hospital Music collection and our booklet of song lyrics.

Let’s Sing Together

The Queensland Children’s Hospital Music Therapy Department has designed this music program of eight songs to support music based developmental play activities with babies while in hospital. These songs may be used to support your baby’s social communication, motor skills, play skills and regulation needs. Collectively called 'Let’s Sing Together', these songs are a combination of familiar songs and original songs, each recorded at the appropriate speed and volume to support even the most medically fragile child.

View and download songs in the Let’s Sing Together collection and our booklet of song lyrics.

Get in touch

If you've got any questions or you'd like more information, you can contact us by:

Last updated: March 2024