Creating a Music Volunteer Program in a Pediatric Hospital: A Manual

Thumbnail Image
Plume, Jennifer
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Evidence-based research and anecdotal support has demonstrated the positive effects of music on hospitalized children. Characteristics such as pain, isolation, loss of control, anxiety, and depression are common among children who are hospitalized (Adams, 1976; Blumgart & Korsch, 1964; Ghetti & Walker, 2008; Goldberger, Mohl, & Thomson, 2009; Robb, 1999; Robb, 2000; Robb, 2003; Taylor, Boyer, & Campbell, 2008). Music has been shown to help these children cope with hospitalization and decrease these symptoms (Barrerea, Rykov, & Doyle, 2000; J.A. Klassen, Yuanyuan, Tjosvole, T.P. Klassen, & Hartling, 2008; Longhi, 2008; S. Nilsson, Kokinsky, U. Nilsson, Sidenvall, & Enskar, 2009; Robb, 2000; Robb & Ebberts, 2003a, 2003b; Pfaff, Smith, & Gowan, 1989; Sahler, Hunter, & Liesveld, 2003). According to the American Music Therapy Association (2011) there are not enough music therapists employed by pediatric hospitals to reach all of the children who might benefit from music interaction. This project serves to provide a comprehensive manual on creating a music volunteer program under the supervision of a board certified music therapist. Step by step guidance, training, and supervision guidelines are provided for the music therapist in addition to materials and activity suggestions for the volunteer. A music volunteer program is a way to safely and ethically help hospitalized children using music provided by well-trained and closely supervised music volunteers.