Sample Psychology Discussion Paper on Music therapy

Music therapy has been used in different healthcare settings to assist patients to relax, focus on their well-being and reduce the risks of anxiety or depressive symptoms among patients. Most parents and caregivers also use music to soothe children to sleep or keep them entertained. This essay provides a reflection of the use of music in neonatal intensive care units as part of the treatment approaches used in managing premature babies.

            According to the articles, some of the benefits attributed to music therapy include soothing the infants, using the music as auditory stimuli, enhancing the infants’ medical indicators such as their oxygen saturation, and promoting language development between the 23 and 30th gestational week (Standley, 2014). The role of music therapy in improving premature infants’ oxygenation has also been proven by Terry Rubin, through his description of his experience as a parent whose premature infant was admitted in NICU. The research conducted on the benefits of stress relief for infants and their parents can be supported with the use of the ideology of using “songs of kin,” which are meaningful to the parents and do not place additional distress on them (Rubin, 2017). The benefits associated with music therapy could reduce the need for using other medical interventions to soothe infants and promote their development.

Rubin provides a better explanation on how music therapists manage to keep infants calm and regulate their oxygenation rates through the performance of live music, using instruments that were created for live performance in NICUs, and by monitoring infants’ medical indicators such as their heart rate to determine the effect of the music on them (Rubin, 2017). This is an effective approach as it ensures that the music therapists can identify when the infants are distressed or when additional medical interventions need to be implemented to soothe the infants.

I think that introducing music therapy at an early age can have negative effects on infants. Standley suggested that too severely premature infants might be too volatile for music, played by individuals who may not understand the accepted music, style, or volume for premature babies or individuals who may not be able to detect infant distress caused by the music. I agree with Standley’s observations about the use of music during passive touch such as the case of kangaroo care as this can soothe the infant and promote bonding with the parent (Standley, 2014). Training parents on the appropriate way of using music therapy can assist them to ensure that they play the right music to soothe their infants, reduce the risks of overstimulation, and help them assess their infants for signs of distress during the sessions (Standley, 2014). I think the music used during this stage can also be used after discharge to help the infant establish a healthy sleeping pattern.

Although the researchers provide numerous evidence regarding the benefits associated with music therapy in NICU, infants admitted in these units are usually at different developmental phases and stages and exposing them to music could affect the development of some of the infants admitted in the unit. I think that researchers need to conduct more studies to determine the appropriate age for exposing premature infants to music therapy as a treatment option. Based on these articles, I think more research should be conducted on the link between music therapy and their medical indicators and the connection between using music therapy and reduction in the number of hospital days.


Rubin, T. (2017, May 31). How music therapy helped my premature baby. PBS News Hour Retrieved from

Standley, J. M. (2014, June 16). Premature infants: Perspectives on NICU-MT Practice. Voices Retrieved from