Music Therapy

In partnership with Florida State University College of Music, Tallahassee Memorial offers the region’s most comprehensive music therapy program and a national training site for future music therapists. Music therapy is used to help with physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of children and adults in a clinical setting.

Music TherapyAt TMH, our music therapy program is designed to meet our patients’ needs in a variety of clinical situations, such as pain management, developmental stimulation, stress reduction, etc. This program can be used for patients receiving care in an inpatient or outpatient setting.

The music therapists at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) work with physicians, nurses, child life specialists and other staff members for a multi-disciplinary, therapeutic approach for both inpatient and outpatient settings.

The music therapy program is also involved in research, such as the development of the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) device to help teach premature infants the “suck-swallow-breathe” reflex required for proper feeding.

Contact Music Therapy at 850-431-7468.

About Us

What is Medical Music Therapy?

Medical music therapy is an established health profession provided by board certified music therapists who utilize music and music interventions to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of children and adults with disabilities, illnesses, or other medical complications. The music therapy department at TMH serves all ages – neonate, pediatrics, adults and geriatrics. Music therapists provide services on all in-patient units (including intensive care units) and many outpatient areas.

What is the purpose of Medical Music Therapy?

The Medical Music Therapy program at Tallahassee Memorial is a partnership with the Florida State University. The program is committed to assisting TMH in reaching its goal of becoming the healthiest community in the nation and uphold the organization’s ICARE values.

This is accomplished by:
• Providing clinical music therapy services to TMH patients.
• Serving as a national training site for music therapy interns.
• Providing training and supervision for FSU music therapy majors
in clinical practicum.
• Conducting research on innovative uses of medical music
therapy.
• Providing a national model for training allied

Who Can Benefit?

Anyone, whether patient or family member, can request music therapy to help with an inpatient or outpatient procedure as well as hospital stay.

Music therapists adapt interventions to address the immediate, individual needs of patients and their families. Benefits of music therapy can include:  

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Manage pain, nausea and discomfort
  • Maintain or improve executive functioning and other cognitive skills
  • Provide procedural support before, during, and after medical interventions
  • Improve understanding of medical treatments
  • Encourage relaxation
  • Improve quality of life
  • Provide normalcy to the hospital environment
  • Increase interpersonal relationships
  • Improve coping skills and emotional expression

The TMH Music Therapy Department provides services to:

  • Patients at the Main Hospital
  • Patients at the Cancer Center
  • Patients at Tallahassee Memorial Rehab Center (TMRC)
  • Adult Day Services
  • Parkinson’s Awareness Choir

What kind of music is used in music therapy sessions?

Age appropriate, patient-preferred music is most often used during music therapy sessions. Research has shown familiar, preferred music to be most effective in achieving desired goals.

How can I receive medical music therapy services?

If you are interested in music therapy during a medical procedure or during your hospital stay, please call the Referral Hotline for Music Therapy (431-RHMT or 431-7468). You may also make a request through your physician or nurse.

For Children

Pediatric Music Therapy

From birth, music can have a profound effect on the growth and development of children. Music can soothe and pacify, promote learning, and offer a sense of security in a time of uncertainty. At Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, a team of highly trained music therapists uses live music therapy interventions to help children physiologically, emotionally, socially and neurologically.

Our Services

Music therapy is the clinical use of music by a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) to help patients reach individualized goals. Some of the goals that we work on with our pediatric population include:

  • Manage pain and anxiety
  • Enhance mood
  • Promoting motor rehabilitation and development
  • Improving functional communication
  • Improving neurological development
  • Increasing and promoting positive coping skills
  • Normalization of the hospital environment
  • Improving physical rehabilitation and development
  • Increasing socialization
  • Eliminating or decreasing sedation for pediatric procedures
  • Address other needs of patients and families

Music Therapy in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

At a time when babies are usually growing and developing in their mother’s womb, premature infants are exposed to the busy medical environment of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and commonly endure painful treatments and procedures. The critical process of neurological development that takes place during the third trimester can be disrupted due to the stress these infants experience outside of the womb. NICU music therapy research shows that specific music therapy techniques help to increase premature infants’ tolerance to stimulation, resulting in faster weight gain, and a decreased length of stay. NICU Music Therapy trained MT-BC’s use research-based interventions with premature infant patients.

  • Multimodal Neurologic Enhancement helps increase each baby’s tolerance to different types of stimulation in the NICU. Using live lullaby, infant-directed music, the music therapist systematically administers three different types of stimulation – auditory, tactile and vestibular. Through this process, each baby learns to tolerate the different sounds in the NICU as well as being touched and held. Research has shown the effectiveness of this intervention in: decreasing stress behaviors, increasing weight gain and decreasing length of hospitalization.
  • Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) is a device designed to help teach premature infants the “suck-swallow-breathe” reflex required for proper feeding. A sensor is attached to the infant pacifier and music is triggered to play when the infant sucks. Music serves as a reward for the infant’s sucking behavior. Research has shown that infants who receive PAL have an increase in sucking endurance and feeding rate.
  • Parent training in Multimodal Neurologic Enhancement: parents can be trained in the use of music and this intervention be scheduling a time with the music therapist.
  • Parent Hour Groups: The NICU Music Therapist and Pediatric Child Life Specialist lead weekly parent hour groups for all NICU parents with topics including: Music with My Baby, Self-Care, Transitioning My Baby Home, and My Sibling & Me. This is an opportunity for parents to ask questions, gather resources and get support from fellow parents.

If you are looking for more information on Little Ones Music Play, check out the tab on the main music therapy page.

Education

National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy Training (NICU-MT Certification)

The National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 30 Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. The training’s mission is to provide an international focus on research, evidence-based clinical practice, and professional training in the efficacy of music therapy for enhancing and humanizing medical treatment of infants and children. Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is the original training site and has been conducting NICU-MT trainings since 2007. For more information please visit: http://www.music.fsu.edu/NICU-MT or if interested in upcoming training dates click here (http://www.music.fsu.edu/NICU-MT/upcoming-trainings)

Medical Music Therapy Internship at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

The medical music therapy internship at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is a national roster internship site that offers two 6 month intern spots beginning in January and July.  Music therapy interns at TMH will have the opportunity to observe, co-lead, and lead individual and group sessions in all units and facilities, participate in treatment team meetings, document patient progress daily, weekly, and monthly, implement patient assessment and evaluation, and complete case studies and special projects. Additionally, field trips provide interns with exposure to other local music therapy programs in private practice, crisis intervention, psychiatric, special education and palliative care settings. While our internship does not provide housing, a stipend of $1,000 is provided. An additional perk is NICU-MT Certification, which all interns receive by the end of their training.

  • Populations:
    • All main hospital units
    • Pediatrics
    • Procedural Support
    • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    • Rehabilitation Center
    • Adult Day Center
    • Cancer Center
    • Little Ones Music Play
    • Parkinson’s Awareness Choir
    • Lactation Support Group
    • Stroke Wellness Group
  • Interns will have the opportunity to gain and strengthen the following skills:
    • Observation
    • Co-leading
    • Individual and group sessions
    • Interdisciplinary team meetings
    • Co-treatment with ST/OT/PT
    • Documenting patient progress
    • Patient assessment
    • Patient evaluation
    • Education and advocacy
  • The Music Therapy Department at TMH values:
    • Self-care
    • High morale
    • Team building
    • Positive work environment
    • Personal growth
For more information, call 850-431-7468.

Little Ones Music Play

"Little Ones Music Play" groups are fun, educational and designed to teach your infant new skills in language, motor abilities and cognitive skills through music! 

What is Little Ones Music Play?

"Little Ones Music Play" groups are fun, educational and designed to teach your infant new skills in language, motor abilities and cognitive skills through interactive music activities! Musical play with mom, dad or any caregivers also encourages bonding.



When and where are classes offered?

Children 18 - 24 months old: Every Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Infants 12 - 17 months old: Every Friday at 10:15 a.m.
Infants 6 - 11 months old: Every Friday at 11 a.m.

All groups meet at the Alexander D. Brickler, MD Women's Pavilion. Classes will last approximately 30 minutes.

The classes are not offered on holidays; feel free to call the Music Therapy office with questions at 850-431-7468 or visit the TMH event calendar.

Is there a cost and how do I sign up?

The cost to attend Little Ones Music Play is $5 per family per week, due upon arrival to the group each week. Advance payments are not accepted. Only cash and checks made payable to FSU NICU MT are accepted. There is no pre-registration required to attend a class.

Directions to special parking area within the Women’s Pavilion:

Enter the new Women's Pavilion and Emergency Center parking garage from Medical Drive (accessed from Miccosukee Road or Centerville Road). After going through the gate, immediately turn left into area marked "Overflow ER Parking" (do not go up the ramp directly in front of the gate). Meet at the elevator on level L marked "Women's Pavilion Staff Access Elevator." A "Little Ones Music Play" group member will be waiting to take you up to the classroom. 

How do I know if my class is cancelled?

Check the Little Ones Music Play site for all dates and cancellations.

Testimonials

"My daughter needed an echocardiogram and she was not interested in cooperating. Brittany (Music Therapist) came into the room within a few minutes and began to sing songs. Brittany used her songs and instruments to help position my daughter's body the way the sonographer needed. Everything she did was done with kindness, cheerfulness and patience."

 "My dad had his first chomotherapy treatment for stage 4 cancer at the Center Center. No one in our immediate family was there able to be there with him... It has been a very difficuly day full of worries, anxieties and sadness. However, he sent me a few videos of music therapists who came in to play for and sit with him. He knew most of their names and had something sweet to say about each and every one of them. Your beautiful hearts, talents, time and music are always meaningful, but today you deeply touched a family and helped ment their broken hears, just a little."