Soothing, Sucking, and Songs

Exploring growth in music therapy for infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Canada and new research on music therapy as care for infants and their families

For infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Grand River Hospital (GRH) in Kitchener, Ontario, change is in the air; they can hear it. Certified Music Therapist (MTA) Tyler Reidy, recently initiated a NICU music therapy program at the GRH, making it the third NICU music therapy program in Ontario. Reidy works with the infants to increase their relaxation and improve their sucking ability which is essential for the infant’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, Reidy notes music therapy becomes a “beacon of bonding” for infants and caregivers, supporting the development of caregiver-infant bonds through lullaby-like songs, gentle humming, and/or guitar playing. To read more about Reidy’s work at GRH, including using infant heartbeat recordings in music therapy, click here. If you are interested in hearing a parent’s perspective on music therapy in the NICU at GRH, click here. Research into music therapy for infants and their caregivers continues to expand across the globe as more countries study and begin to recognize the benefits of this intervention. Are you curious about what music therapy in the NICU entails and how it impacts infants and their caregivers? If so, click here for some fast facts on music therapy in the NICU published by the American Music Therapy Association Inc. If you would like to hear more about current research developments in music therapy for newborn infants and during childbirth, click this link for an interview with Indian music therapist and researcher Bhuvaneswari Ramesh.

Published : October 23, 2023