Tiny premature babies get boost from live music; hospitals & even ‘American Idol’ catching on

Music therapist Elizabeth Klinger, left, quietly plays guitar and sings for Henry Buchert and his mother Stacy Bjorkman, in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago on Monday, May 6, 2013. Research suggests that music may help those born way too soon adapt to life outside the womb. Recent studies and anecdotal reports suggest the vibrations and soothing rhythms of music, especially performed live in the hospital, might benefit preemies and other sick babies. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Music therapist Elizabeth Klinger, left, quietly plays guitar and sings for Henry Buchert and his mother Stacy Bjorkman, in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago on Monday, May 6, 2013. Research suggests that music may help those born way too soon adapt to life outside the womb. Recent studies and anecdotal reports suggest the vibrations and soothing rhythms of music, especially performed live in the hospital, might benefit preemies and other sick babies. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

From The Calgary Herald:

Recent studies and anecdotal reports suggest the vibrations and soothing rhythms of music, especially performed live in the hospital, might benefit preemies and other sick babies.

Many insurers won’t pay for music therapy because of doubts that it results in any lasting medical improvement. Some doctors say the music works best at relieving babies’ stress and helping parents bond with infants too sick to go home.

But amid beeping monitors, IV poles and plastic breathing tubes in infants’ rooms at Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, music therapist Elizabeth Klinger provides a soothing contrast that even the tiniest babies seem to notice

“What music therapy can uniquely provide is that passive listening experience that just encourages relaxation for the patient, encourages participation by the family,” Klinger said after a recent session in Augustin’s hospital room.

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