Music Therapy

The Music Therapy Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland offers a one-of-a-kind chance for children to experience the healing properties—and simple joys—of music. Research shows that in a hospital setting, music therapy can be beneficial in managing pain, lowering rates of depression, increasing bodily movement, easing muscle tension, and calming patients when they feel distressed. Because we rely on clinical, evidence-based intervention that supports our patients' physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being, we consider our Music Therapy Program to be an integrated and important part of the healing process.

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Why Families Choose Us

Personalized Music Therapy Sessions for Hospitalized Children

  • Depending on individual needs and preferences, a typical session may involve listening to music, guided visualization, structured songs, songwriting, clinical improvisation, or music-assisted relaxation. Participants may choose to play, sing, direct, or to simply listen.
  • Music therapy is provided when requested by the attending physician, a member of the nursing staff, a social worker, or a Child Life specialist.
  • Our highly-trained therapists hold advanced degrees in music therapy and participate as part of your child’s healthcare team in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluations, and follow-up.

Child-Led Participation

  • Individual and group sessions are available depending on each child's preference and situation.
  • A large number of easy-to-play instruments are made available so that children of all ages can participate.

Ongoing Music Therapy Support

It's our goal to ensure that every one of our patients has access to services that make them feel at home with us, so we're proud that our Music Therapy Program is supported by community businesses and individual donors.

For more information on how you can support this program, please visit or contact UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals Foundation at: