AbilityLab Music Therapists work with a pediatric patient



Music therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages. At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, group and individual music therapy services are provided by a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) on all inpatient floors.  

Music therapy collaborates with occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, art therapy, child life services and chaplain services to integrate creative and engaging approaches through music. It support patients in achieving their therapeutic goals, which might include:

  • Speech skills
  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Creative self-expression
  • Emotional support
  • Social skills
  • Pain management
  • Stress management
  • Mood support
  • Relaxation
  • Coping skills
  • Self-esteem support

Music Therapy interventions include songwriting, music improvisation, playing instruments, singing, movement to music, listening to music, music discussion, and any use of music that supports a patinet’s goals and wellness. Services are provided to a range of patients — from those who have never picked up an instrument to those with a rich musical history. 


Weekly music therapy groups offered include:

  • Music and Relaxation (with therapeutic recreation)
  • Tone Chimes Choir (with therapeutic recreation)
  • Music and Yoga (with occupational therapy)
  • Music, Art and Spirituality (with art therapy and chaplain services)
  • Music and Speech (with speech therapy)
  • Music Slings (with physical therapy)
  • Music + Self Expression for Teens (with child life services)

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