Music Therapy

Music therapists with Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh work with people of all ages.

During your child's hospital stay, we offer one-on-one and group sessions to help meet social, emotional, physical, and physiological goals.

Our board-certified music therapists give your child and family the chance to write songs and learn to play an instrument.

How Music Therapy Can Help Your Child

Listening to and making music can:

  • Help your child stay calm during tests and treatments.
  • Lower the heart rate and help control breathing.
  • Decrease pain and fear while in the hospital.
  • Foster self-growth and positive self-image.
  • Promote self-expression.
  • Help cope with grief and loss.

Seeking an Educational Opportunity in Music Therapy?

The music therapy program at UPMC Children’s Hospital offers:

  • Job shadowing for students and others.
  • Part-time music therapy education for both grad and undergrad students.

Learn more about music therapy education at UPMC Children's.

Frequently Asked Questions about Music Therapy

Who can take part in music therapy, and how can I request services?

Patients currently admitted to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh can take part in music therapy.

Music therapists support our mission of family-centered care. While focused on your child's healing, our family-based sessions let you enjoy the benefits of music therapy with your child.

Music therapy is a consult-based service. To request services, ask any member of your child's care team to contact one of our music therapists.

Do I need to play an instrument or sing to take part in music therapy?

You or your child don't need to know how to play an instrument, sing, or have any musical background to take part.

During sessions, our therapists use music to help your child reach his or her medical and mental health goals.

How old must my child be to use music therapy services?

There is no age requirement for music therapy.

Our music therapists tailor services to meet the needs of all children, from newborns to young adults.

Can music therapy help my sedated child?


Music therapists can meet the needs of your child, even while sedated. They can play relaxing music at the bedside to help your child stay calm and comfortable.

How do music therapists help with physiological goals?

Music therapists know how to use music that can help lower or stabilize your child’s heart rate and steady their breathing.

How can music therapists help with my child's physical goals?

Music therapists work closely with occupational, physical, and speech-language therapists to enhance your child’s care.

Using your child’s tastes and interests, music therapists can help motivate and inspire your child during other therapy services.

Is there a cost for music therapy at UPMC Children’s?

No. Music therapy is free, thanks to the support of Children’s Hospital's Foundation and our generous community partners.

Since there aren't any costs for music therapy, we do not bill your insurance plan.

How can I volunteer at the music therapy program?