What is Music Therapy?

Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, is a clinical evidence based intervention that supports a patient’s physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Music therapists are an integrated part of the patient care team and work closely with doctors, nurses, and other therapists.

Individual and group sessions help children and their families cope with illness, trauma, and hospitalization. A typical session might include music improvisation, therapeutic drumming, song writing, or music-assisted relaxation. Children choose to play, sing, direct or simply listen. 

Why Music Therapy is important

Music Therapy is prescribed for children who are unable to verbalize their feelings, fears, or concerns by providing resources to cope with their illness, hospitalization, and treatment. Music brings the mind, body, and spirit together and can be transformational.

Trained music therapists work with patients and their families to explore physical and emotional challenges associated with treatment or trauma. This is accomplished through playing, listening, or creating music.

Our music therapists

Maya Charlton MA, MT-BC,
Senior Music Therapist

Maya directs The Jared Kurtin Music Therapy Program and provides services in Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Intensive Care and Neo-Natal intensive Care. She has a Masters degree in music therapy from New York University and presents regularly on the use of music therapy for pain, trauma and palliative care.

Matthew Logan, MA, MT-BC,
Music Therapist

Matt earned a Master's degree in music therapy from The University of Iowa. His clinical and research interests include the use of lullabies with infants and using technology to produce high-quality musical experiences with patients of varying abilities. Matt provides services in our Rehabilitation Department, as well as our medical and surgical units.

Learn about what is next for our program.

Girl With Therapist
Girl With Therapist Learning to Play Drums
Girl in Hospital Learning to Play Drums

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