Music therapy at Arkansas Children's is offered to specific inpatient units throughout the Little Rock hospital. Our music therapist is certified through the Certification Board for Music Therapists and works with patients and families to meet treatment goals. A music therapist works to help patients cope with different emotions associated with illness and extended hospital stays. No previous musical training is needed to participate in music therapy. A music therapist will design a treatment plan based on your child's needs. During a session, a child may be encouraged to play instruments, sing, listen, discuss songs' lyrics, or write and record music. The music therapy program also signs out instruments for patients to use while in the hospital. Instruments currently include guitars and ukuleles.

Music Therapy Benefits

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

Guitar-strumming therapist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital uses neuroscience of music to soothe young patients. Watch the video or read more on ArkansasOnline.

Music Therapy Internship

A music therapy intern should expect to receive hands-on experience with supervision from a supervising board-certified music therapist to foster their skills in music therapy. This includes improving proficiency in various instruments, putting music therapy theories to use with patients and demonstrating these skills in the pediatric hospital setting.

The intern will take on a full-time schedule working Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the duration of the internship period. This intensive schedule allows for the most immersive experience. The intern can expect to work with various patients spanning ages from infancy through adolescence. The intern will have the opportunity to work with patients of different diagnoses throughout the internship experience.

Interns will initially observe a supervising music therapist for a period of three to four weeks. This period may vary depending on the needs of the intern. After this observation period, music therapy students will be referred to individual patients primarily, with opportunities for small group sessions. A typical patient caseload for an intern will be between ten to fifteen patients. Individual sessions can last between thirty minutes up to an hour, depending on the patient population. Group sessions will be set at an hour as it is not uncommon for patients to arrive late due to other treatments. Group sessions at ACH tend to be between three to five patients.

Also, interns will attend all relevant child life and education departmental meetings and have the opportunity to participate in other events relevant to their growth as music therapists.

Heart Patient's Wish Comes True Thanks to Child Life & Little Wishes

Daniel has been at Arkansas Children's for many weeks waiting on a new heart. After doing music therapy with our Child Life team he asked one of our music therapists to teach him to play guitar to pass the time. It was no surprise to anyone that he was a natural! Thanks to our Child Life team and Little Wishes he can now practice with his own guitar. Daniel is a kid that can do anything he sets his mind to. He is a talented artist, a skilled stuffed animal surgeon, and a budding musician. He loves video games, white chocolate-covered pretzels, and his personality shines through everything he does. Learn more about the nationally recognized Heart Institute  that is taking care of him.

Contact Music Therapy

Our music therapist looks forward to working with your child at Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock. Music therapy is available Monday - Friday from 8:00 - 4:30. For additional information or questions regarding music therapy, please contact Andrew Ghrayeb MT-BC.

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