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Cardinal Glennon / Services / Music Therapy

Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy? 

As defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), music therapy is the clinical and evidence based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

In other words, the music therapist uses music to assist patients during their hospital stay improving their experience.


What Does a Music Therapist Do?

Music therapists use a variety of interventions tailored to each patient's unique needs. Some of the most frequently used interventions include live music, playing instruments together, singalongs, songwriting and recording, music assisted relaxation, guided imagery, lyric analysis, and the creation of legacy projects.

Our board-certified music therapist is equipped with age appropriate, musical instruments and recording tools/equipment, thanks to the generosity of the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation. Patient visits take place at the bedside and family and caregivers are welcome to participate. Co-treatment with other hospital disciplines may sometimes take place when deemed appropriate.

Who Participates in Music Therapy?

An SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital patient might be referred to music therapy for coping support, isolation, pain/symptom management, assistance with anxiety or depression and procedural support, just to name a few. After a patient is referred, the music therapist will make an initial visit to assess needs and establish goals for the child. Musical interventions will address things such as normalization of the hospital experience, increasing coping abilities, providing opportunities for creative self-expression, and emotional support for both the child and family unit.

Families may request a music therapy consultation through any member of their child's care team or by calling extension 7643 from a hospital phone.

Parent’s Role 

Parents are always welcome and encouraged to engage with their child in music therapy treatment. While some parents feel comfortable engaging actively and may even benefit from participation themselves, others choose to observe or step out to tend to outside tasks during their child’s visit. All levels of parent participation are welcome.


For additional information and resources related to the music therapy field, please visit the American Music Therapy Association’s website.

Contact Music Therapy

Kelli McKee, MA, MT-BC
314-268-2700 ext. 7643

How to Make a Referral

Families may request a music therapy visit through any member of their child's care team or by calling extension 7643 from any hospital phone.

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