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Music Therapy Brightens Hospital for Kids

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Jan 04, 2010

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles, California, is using a mobile Music Rx® unit donated by the Children’s Cancer Association [CCA] as part of a nationwide expansion of a music therapy program developed for pediatric patients. The mobile unit contains instruments, Apple GarageBand software for recording music, an iPod docking station and an LCD screen that plays music videos. Music therapy is used to ease pain, improve mood, calm fears, facilitate relaxation and make the hospital feel more like home. In addition to the mobile unit, the Music Rx program includes community musicians playing live music in hospital hallways.

A 2008 study conducted by the CCA found that Music Rx positively affected scores for children’s mood, family bonding and pain. “When the kids, nurses and staff see the interactive music video screen and hear the instruments, the mood is lightened and they get really excited!” said Vanya Green, UCLA’s board-certified music therapist.

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at