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, and discuss lyrics to songs, 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.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital offers students and community members the opportunity to shadow music therapists within the hospital setting. Job shadowing in the hospital setting allows individuals to learn more about the impact and benefits of music therapy.
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 theories of music therapy 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 a music therapist.