Music Therapy Program

The Music Therapy Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is supported by the Laura and Gregg Perloff Endowment for Music Therapy.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a leader in creative medical treatment options with the first established pediatric music therapy program in the Bay Area. Music therapy is a clinical and evidence-based program for hospitalized infants, children, and their families. Watch Mason's story to see the healing power of music therapy:

Music therapy was a game changer for 11-year-old Mason Rapp, who underwent surgery in 2021 for a condition related to his cerebral palsy. The chance to make music while working with his occupational therapist transformed his resistance to postoperative treatment into pure joy.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is a clinical evidence-based intervention that supports a patient’s physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Our music therapists are an integrated part of the patient care team and work closely with doctors, nurses, and other therapists.

Individual and group sessions help children and their families cope with illness, trauma, and hospitalization. A typical session might include music improvisation, therapeutic drumming, song writing, or music-assisted relaxation. Children choose to play, sing, direct or simply listen.

Why is Music Therapy Important?

Music therapy is prescribed for children who are unable to verbalize their feelings, fears, or concerns by providing resources to cope with their illness, hospitalization, and treatment. Music brings the mind, body, and spirit together and can be transformational. Listen to Kimberlee’s song to learn more about the healing power of music.

Trained music therapists work with patients and their families to explore physical and emotional challenges associated with treatment or trauma. This is accomplished through playing, listening, or creating music.

Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
Music Therapy at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland
01 / 05 Every week, we offer opportunities for patients and families to come together and blend their creative energies through music. (Photo taken prior to the pandemic.)
02 / 05 Some sessions take place in the main playroom in Oakland.
03 / 05 Music brings the mind, body and spirit together in ways that can be transformative.
04 / 05 Music therapy in a child's hospital room is offered on a referral basis.
05 / 05 Since music therapy is not yet reimbursed by insurance, we are able to offer it only thanks to the generosity of our community. (Photo taken prior to the pandemic.)

How You Can Help

The Music Therapy Program employs three, full-time music therapists, as well as interns, who serve the more than 9,000 patients who are hospitalized each year. Unfortunately, music therapy is not yet reimbursed by insurance and is only provided for our patients through the generosity of our community. 

In 2017, Laura and Gregg Perloff created the Perloff Endowment for Music Therapy with a generous gift to provide funding that will continue to grow over time to ensure the continued success of the program. With the support of the Perloffs, Another Planet Entertainment, and a dedicated community of annual donors, the Music Therapy Program is a leader in healing through music. 

Please consider investing in this program and helping kids receive effective, non-pharmacological treatment. With your help, we can provide music therapy for every patient in need. Contact Gwenn Lennox at [email protected] with any questions. 

Want to give by check?

Send a check made payable to 'UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals Foundation' and write in the note field 'Music Therapy Program Oakland'.

Mail your check to:

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals Foundation
P.O. Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339




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