Kids are inherently musical — it’s visible in the way they talk, move and process information. Our board-certified music therapists design highly individualized interventions using patient and family-preferred music to promote comfort and work on developmental, physical and expressive goals.
Music therapists are uniquely trained to harness the therapeutic qualities of music to use with even the most fragile children, including surgical patients and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Music therapy involves accessible and adapted experiences to engage patients and make them feel successful, regardless of musical background. In the hospital setting, music therapy can offer an outlet for feelings about illness and hospitalization and reduce a child’s perception of pain and anxiety. Guiding children through the creative process can give them a voice or container for emotions, as well as positively impact their mood and well-being.
Our music therapists use techniques like song writing, composition, improvisation, music-based play, and listening to music. Though at times a finished song or music project is generated, the focus of music therapy is on the therapeutic process of making and listening to sounds that echo a child’s feelings.
Children shouldn’t be defined by their illness; music therapy helps to normalize illness and injury, allowing patients and families to process the effects of hospitalization in a non-threatening environment.
Music therapy is a research-based profession, which shows its positive effects across ages and diagnoses. For more information on medical music therapy research, review some of the studies and media coverage we’ve listed under Resources.
Interested in supporting music therapy at Lurie Children’s? Check out our Amazon Wishlist.
Meet Our Music Therapists
Take a look at our music therapists’ bios to learn a little bit more about the therapist who may work with your child.
Mayte Gomez-Cruz (she/her/ella)
Mayte Gomez-Cruz, MT-BC, joined the music therapy team in 2021, shortly after completing her music therapy internship here at Lurie Children’s. Mayte provides bilingual music therapy services in English and Spanish to intermediate/general acute care, pulmonary care, and cardiac patients.
Mayte received her Bachelor’s of Music in music therapy from the University of Iowa and is originally from Des Moines, Iowa. In previous years, she worked with a variety of populations including school-age students working on educational goals, adolescents with behavioral health needs, and older adults in memory care.
Mayte Gomez-Cruz, MT-BC, se unió al equipo de musicoterapia en 2021 después de completar sus prácticas profesionales aquí en Lurie Children's. Mayte ofrece servicios de musicoterapia en español e inglés para pacientes de cuidados intermedios/agudos generales, cuidado pulmonar, y pacientes cardíacos.
Mayte recibió su licenciatura en musicoterapia de la Universidad de Iowa y es originaria de Des Moines, Iowa. En años anteriores, ha trabajado en una variedad de entornos, incluyendo en escuelas primarias para apoyar metas educativas, con adolescentes con necesidades de salud mental, y personas mayores en cuidados paliativos.
Molly Grettenberger (she/her)
Molly Grettenberger, MM, MT-BC joined the music therapy team in 2022. She primarily serves neurology, transplant, hepatology, nephrology, endocrine and GI patients, as well as the NICU. Her approach to her practice is music-centered, strengths-based, improvisational, and patient-led.
Molly holds a Master’s degree in music therapy from Western Michigan University, preceded by a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from Indiana University. Her previous experience includes working with children, adolescents, and young adults with social, emotional, and developmental needs in therapeutic day schools, an internship at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, and work with older adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Sheridan Grettenberger (she/her)
Sheridan Grettenberger, MM, MT-BC, joined the music therapy team in 2018 after completing her music therapy internship here at Lurie Children’s. She primarily works with patients in the inpatient pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Sheridan received a Bachelor of Science in Music from Northwestern University with concentrations in music cognition and psychology, followed by a Master’s degree in music therapy from Western Michigan University. Prior to returning to Lurie Children’s, Sheridan worked in therapeutic day schools, providing music therapy services to students of all ages with a diverse range of special needs and social-emotional needs. Sheridan has served as a supervisor for music therapy interns at Lurie Children’s and currently holds the role of Internship Director for the program's National Roster Music Therapy Internship through the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).
Work With a Music Therapist
Music therapy is provided on a referral basis and is available to patients on many inpatient medical units. Priority is given to patients with multiple and/or lengthy hospitalizations in need of extra support.
Ask any member of your care team if music therapy is available on your unit or contact our music therapy team at email@example.com for more information.
Visit these helpful websites to learn more about music therapy or find a music therapist to continue working with your child outside of the hospital.
The power of music therapy in a medical environment is well documented. Here's the story of Henry and his family, who are benefiting from music therapy at Lurie Children's, supported by, among others, K.I.D.S.S. for Kids.
Music Therapy Internship
Are you a music therapy student at an AMTA-approved college or university? Learn more about our music therapy internship.