Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil


This music therapy method intends to explore the implication of music within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to foster attachment and provide bonding experiences between infants and their caregivers. Using a flexible multistep model, the music therapist will consider established family dynamics, cultural background, and medical diagnosis of infants to determine the necessary music therapy approach to support the infant and caregiver throughout hospitalization. This method involves the integration of live-music intervention and hospitalization through procedural support and infant-contingent singing as co-regulation. Music therapy is an evidence-based practice used across the lifespan. The practice of music therapy with neonates has been identified as a viable non-pharmacological treatment modality to improve infant sleep patterns, support brain development, and improve physiological calming and regulation. This method seeks to explore the outcomes of music therapy interventions by providing procedural support and facilitating opportunities for family bonding while empowering caregivers to engage in the process alongside the clinician. In order to conduct a music therapy method that supports the infant while providing resources and sustainable care practices for caregivers, this model will follow a session structured on building rapport with the family and care team, establishing trust with the infant and caregiver, supporting the family throughout hospitalization through clinical practice and advocacy, and empowerment of the caregiver and infant to continue bonding throughout hospitalization and once discharged.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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