Working to enhance, restore, and improve the quality of life for
all human beings, especially children and teenagers, since 2003

The Peterson Family Foundation's Focus: Music Therapy

Why Music Therapy?

The hospital often focuses on what’s wrong, a problem the doctor needs to fix. Music therapy brings out the child’s abilities and gives them something to accomplish that emphasizes their talents and successes.
Oliver Jacobson, Music Therapist
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco

Music therapy utilizes the power of music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual self to improve overall health. Music therapy treatment uses music to reduce a patient’s pain and anxiety, provides an opportunity for self-expression through songwriting and recording or non-verbally through instrumental music making, organizes coordinated movement in rehab, and reduces stress through guided relaxation, music listening and instrumental improvisation.


How Does Music Therapy Help?

"My daughter’s response to music is immediate. Her heart rate slows, she relaxes her body, and her breathing becomes less labored.  One look at the guitar and her eyes light up. Use that guitar to play twinkle twinkle little star and the girl’s heart is yours. According to one of my daughter’s doctors, twinkle twinkle is more effective calming her than the strongest sedative! Music therapy is just as much for parents & caregivers. The hospital can be a scary, sterile, and unforgiving place. Music therapy softens the edges, calms the nerves, and refocuses.”

Kristin Chaset (Parent)

Parents have reported that music was the only thing to bring a smile to their child’s lips during their hospital admission.
Julie Pollman, Child Life Services teacher/supervisor,
Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco

Music Therapy is proven to:

Promote Wellness
Improve Communication
Promote Physical Rehabilitation
Express Feelings
Enhance Memory
Manage Stress
Alleviate Pain

Read more about its benefits on our Music Therapy page.


The Peterson Family Goal

Our hope is that we can make things better for those on the difficult journey towards healing. Inspired by Karen Peterson’s spirit of kindness and empathy, one of the ways we achieve this goal is by bringing music therapy to kids across the US and Europe whose illnesses require a hospital stay.

Learn More About Us

We're committed to supporting organizations and programs that are passionate about both patient care and scientific advancement. In addition to supporting hospitals as they expand their music therapy programs, the Peterson Family Foundation also works with programs that focus on pediatric leukemia and diabetes.


Learn More

To find out more about the Peterson Family Foundation and how we’re enhancing, restoring and improving people’s lives with music, please visit our About Us page and Our Focus page. If you’d like to make a difference and help bring music therapy to more hospitals around the country, please contact us or consider making a contribution.