Music Therapy

Patient and Family Guide

Music Therapy

American Family Children's Hospital music therapist Samantha Sinai with a young patient.Donate to the Music Therapy program buttonAmerican Family Children's Hospital offers music therapy as a way to help our young patients cope with pain and reduce the stress and anxiety they sometimes feel when staying in the hospital.

What is music therapy?

At American Family Children's Hospital, music therapy uses music to support the goals that the health care team and parents have set for the patient. Those goals may include:

  • Reducing pain, stress and anxiety
  • Enhancing the quality-of-stay at the hospital
  • A method of support and distraction during medical procedures
  • Encouraging self-expression
  • Improving confidence
  • Encouraging bonding between the child and family

Music therapists are board certified care providers who trained to use music to create a healing environment for patients. They use cues from patients to identify effective evidence-based therapeutic approaches.

From listening to live music, playing instruments, singing, writing songs, making music videos, and more, expect an interactive experience aimed to support your child's well-being.

Our Music Therapist

Samantha Sinai is a board certified music therapist. She earned an undergraduate degree from the Baldwin Wallace University music therapy program and completed her 1,200 clinical hours at her internship at Whidbey General Hospital in Washington State.

During her internship Samantha worked with patients in cancer, home health hospice, intensive care, outpatient rehabilitation, and inpatient medical and surgical units.

Prior to coming to American Family Children's Hospital, Samantha:

  • Co-created a class that combines music therapy and yoga for women with chronic anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Brought music therapy and adaptive music lessons to children with special needs through Musical Fingers, LLC
  • Introduced group music therapy sessions to military veterans

"Music can be a powerful tool to reach a higher self,” Samantha says. "The most amazing part is seeing how people are transcended from their experience with pain, anxiety and self- doubt."

Music Therapy Research

Music therapy has been proven an effective way to reduce pain and anxiety, improve mood, encourage self-expression, and stimulate cognitive function via dozens of peer-reviewed, published studies. Reviews include:

  • A 2016 article titled "The Effects of Music on Pain: A Meta-Analysis" that analyzed 97 studies involving music therapy and concluded "music interventions had statistically significant effects in decreasing pain."
  • A 2010 study published in "Music and Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Journal: that analyzed the impact music therapy had on pain and emotion for 32 young surgery patients. The study supported "the effectiveness of music entrainment as a postoperative pain management technique for children and adolescents."