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Music Therapy

As part of the care team, St. Jude music therapists can help your child cope with diagnosis and treatment.

Patient playing banjo with music therapist who is playing guitar

Music can help people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Music therapists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital use proven ways to help your child cope with diagnosis and treatment. They can help your child express feelings, make choices, and feel more in control of their treatment.  

Services we provide 

Music therapists help your child in group sessions or 1-on-1. Your child may benefit from music therapy during treatment. In music therapy, your child may: 

  • Listen to music 
  • Play instruments 
  • Write and record songs 
  • Sing 
  • Move to music 
  • Use musical lyrics to help them reflect on feelings 
  • Connect with peers, family members, and care providers through music 

How music therapy works 

Music therapy can help in many ways. It may help your child:

  • Be more involved in treatment
  • Have emotional support
  • Connect with the care team
  • Have less feelings of pain and anxiety
  • Express their feelings
  • Create special memories
  • Have less fear during medical care
  • Create new coping skills to help during treatment
  • Improve gross motor skills, which involve large muscle groups
  • Improve fine motor skills, which use the hands’ small muscles
  • Have more support and fun moving during  physical therapy or occupational therapy

To provide the best care, music therapists will ask your child and family to share what music you like. They will also ask about your ideas and goals for how you’d like to use music.

Your music therapy team 

St. Jude has full-time music therapists to help you. These therapists work with all clinical areas. Patients, families, and care teams can each request a music therapy consult. 
Our new Family Commons space includes Studio 262, a music studio where your child and their siblings can play music and work with music therapists.  

Music therapists work with everyone on the care team to set goals. They also work to see how music can be the most helpful during treatment.  

Music therapists at St. Jude are nationally certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. They hold Music Therapist Board Certified (MT-BC) credentials. 

Get involved with music therapy 

You can get involved with music therapy:

Learn more

For more information about music therapy at St. Jude or to get a list of our current group sessions, please call Child Life at 901-595-3020.  

Learn more about music therapy and other therapies on the Together by St. Jude online resource.