The Peterson Family Foundation funds music therapy programs in children’s hospitals to help kids heal, grow and gain meaning from their medical experience. Join our #GivingTuesday campaign to stay in the loop on the foundation’s efforts and to help us meet our goal of raising $5,000 from Giving Tuesday! Share our story with your friends and community and give the gift of music therapy to hospitalized children!
Through our programs, we have provided music therapy to 3,482 children! We look forward to helping thousands more with your help! You can sign up here.
Ashley’s Music Therapy Story
In the video below, you see a bright, energetic little girl named Ashley singing and playing with one of our music therapists, Matt. The amazing part of her story is that mere months before this she wasn’t eating, speaking or walking.
For six months, Ashley was hospitalized due to viral complications in her brain, spine and right eye. Music therapy is what kick-started her recovery. Here’s how her mom tells the story:
Matt visited Ashley once a week without fail. Even when she was in the PICU, barely coherent, Matt would sing to her, and she would use all her strength to hit the drum once or twice. Before she could say phrases, she started singing every song she knew. She used to wake up in the middle of the night and lay wide awake for hours in her hospital bed, not able to say a word. Suddenly, she started singing from 3-4am almost every night until we forced her to go back to sleep. Nothing made her smile more than seeing Matt walk into her room.
Music therapy brightened her mood and it kick started her brain recovery. The instruments Matt brought also helped with her fine motor skills. The drums, shakers, keyboard, everything helped her gain strength in her fingers, hands and arms. Matt was also great at incorporating counting, shapes, colors, etc. to help her cognitively.
We have been home for almost three months now and Ashley still asks for Matt regularly. She still remembers the songs they sang together. He is her favorite person at UCSF. Thank you for having such a positive impact on her and being so crucial in her recovery!
Alex’s Music Therapy Story
One of the wonderful things about music therapy is that it can help children of all ages, including 21-month-old Alex (pictured to the right with his mother Sosa and music therapist Taylor).
Alex is currently being treated for Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder of the liver. Through music therapy, he’s able to work on:
- Cognitive stimulation goals
- Fine/gross motor movement
- Emotional expression
Alex’s favorite song is “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” During music therapy, his therapist and mother sing his favorite nursery rhymes with him while integrating evidenced based rhythmic entrainment techniques and melodic cues to encourage motor movement. The music helps them play, process, develop, refocus and have fun together.
Alex’s mother shared music therapy is making a big difference for them. It makes her day, promoting developmental growth for Alex and helping normalize the hospital environment. He is given space to be a kid, explore and succeed with music! His stress is reduced and his mother is supported through an incredibly trying time for the family.