Just the right note
Music therapy helps hospitalized kids feel better, inside and out
A good song can change a mood, bring back memories, brighten a day. And while music can feel therapeutic in this way, it can provide far more than just a feel good moment, says University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital music therapist Kim Donley.
“Music therapy is the use of music to achieve nonmusical goals,” she says. “So even though we might be teaching children how to play the ukulele, we’re increasing their motor skills, getting their fingers and hands moving. It could be a stress management or coping thing, too. We’re constantly assessing their needs—cognitive, emotional, spiritual, physical, and existential.”
Country music star Chris Young knows the power of music. Shortly after he visited U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital in June, he gave $34,000 to the music therapy program, allowing the staff to fill four carts with new, higher-quality instruments and purchase equipment to let patients record their own songs. The recent Stars and Guitars concert benefited the program as well.
As a gesture of gratitude, the team sent him this music video thank-you note.
Learn more about a few instruments on the music cart below.
Photos by Brady Willette