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Music Therapy at Seattle Children’s Hospital

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Music Therapy at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Music therapy is a treatment that utilizes music to assist patients in managing illness and injuries. Not only does it reduce pain and anxiety levels, but it can also enhance social skills and emotional expression.

Seattle Children’s Hospital provides music therapy services for patients and their families, with several on-staff music therapists trained in creating personalized goals using singing, instrument playing or other musical activities. Our music therapists strive to help our patients meet these objectives.

Music therapy seeks to promote health and wellbeing among patients, family members and staff through music-based interventions. These can range from passive techniques like listening or lyric analysis, to active ones such as improvisation or songwriting.

Music-based interventions with patients and families can be enjoyable and therapeutic, helping them cope with difficult emotions and experiences. Studies have even demonstrated that music therapy may reduce stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

At Seattle Children’s, we provide music and art therapy for patients as well as their families. The music and art therapists use various techniques, whether at the bedside of patients or in small groups or one-on-one sessions.

They are specially trained to assist patients and their families make the most of their stay at the hospital by creating a positive experience, distracting them from anxiety or discomfort, and giving them a sense of normalcy.

At Seattle Children’s, music and art therapists collaborate with nurses and other medical staff to create personalized goals for patients that promote optimal outcomes. For instance, nurses have noticed that including music into a patient’s daily routine helps them better manage feelings such as stress or loneliness while in the hospital.

Our music therapists are board-certified, meaning they possess a bachelor’s degree in music therapy and have completed an intensive 1,200 hour supervised internship. As such, they must be familiar with instruments such as voice, guitar, piano and drums.

For further details about our music therapy program at the hospital, reach out to David Knott – a board-certified music therapist, instrument maker and improvisation expert who works with patients and families within the facility.

In addition to his work with patients and their families, he is a board-certified instructor at Cornish College of the Arts where he has taught students of all ages and skill levels how to play musical instruments. Furthermore, he has instructed them how to lead music therapy sessions and incorporate therapeutic music into their own daily lives.

Riley Kua is a board-certified music therapist passionate about connecting communities through music. He enjoys sharing the joy of performing to people of all ages and abilities, especially those suffering from autism, stroke, brain injury and dementia.

At present, he is working with patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital, specializing in music improvisation to engage and facilitate therapeutic change. Furthermore, he leads music improvisation workshops for teachers and caregivers.

He has a deep-seated passion for music and is grateful to be able to collaborate with so many talented individuals. He feels fortunate to call Seattle Children’s Hospital his home, and looks forward to continuing to provide our patients and their families with an enjoyable experience.

Sign up here to try or learn about sound therapy that lowers anxiety, insomnia, pain, insomnia, and tinnitus an average of 77%.


- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:
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