RCH Music Therapy

In a medical environment, music can be incredibly powerful. It has been proven to relieve pain, decrease anxiety and stress, reduce blood pressure and pulse rate, and release endorphins to improve mood and relaxation. Music is also an excellent motivator.

The music therapy program at the Royal Children’s Hospital is one of many programs supported by philanthropy. Across the hospital, music therapists work both in groups and with individuals to support those recovering from neurological conditions, rehabilitation and mental health.

The Impact of Giving

My name’s Beth Dunn I am the manager of music therapy at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Most children and young people have a relationship with music, they love music, they identify as a musician, and some young people play music.  What we do in hospital is help them to use that love of music, that engagement with music to help them cope with a hospital experience and to maybe reduce their anxiety around procedures.

I think music therapy is innovative at the Children’s Hospital because music can address the physical, the emotional and the cognitive all at the same time and not many therapies can do that.

For example a child post-surgery might be reluctant to move because they might be in a little bit of pain and music can really motivate them to get up and move, to play a drum to sing, to get out of bed and have some fun and at the same time meeting their physical needs.

Sometimes you hear the family say ‘that’s the first time we’ve seen them smile in ages’ and that’s all lovely part of our job when we get to see those moments of difference in a child’s day and in child’s week, it’s really lovely and rewarding.

Thank you for supporting music therapy. Thank you for taking the time to understand what music therapy is, that it’s not just about singing songs to kids, that there’s a lot more to it than that and people who support us really know that and really believe in us and that’s why they support us. I would just like to say thank you on behalf of all of the patients that have benefited from music therapy over the years. Thank you.