LOS ANGELES – With his tiny hands, 5-year-old Jaime is not a patient right now, but a musician. So is 6-year-old Jesus, both in Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA.

Today, treatment doesn’t come from an IV or pill, it comes from something much different – the Music Rx Program – that brings bedside music therapy to patients. Amy Bullock is the Director of Child life, Child Development Services.

The Music Rx program is part of the Children’s Cancer Association out of Portland, Oregon. The non-profit provides trained music therapists and the magical mobile cart filled with instruments, songwriting and recording technology. Vanya Green is Board Certified and has a Masters in Music Therapy.

And the idea behind this kind of therapy is to help patients, physically, psychologically and emotionally… using music to get there.

“Once you have the music there, they have so much motivation to raise their arm, to play the drum, to sing a song that I no longer need to say ‘talk to me or we’re going learn this today’ because it’s so much more about them just having fun with me. And behind all of that, of course, I have goals for them – I have things that I want them to accomplish,” Green said.

2-year-old Isabella Vahanian has been in the hospital for 3 months already… diagnosed with leukemia… music therapy is part of her healing.

For Jaime and Jesus, music is good medicine. For little Isabella, it is almost everything the doctor ordered.

Yes, it’s been said the language of music is universal, no truer than the littlest of patients, finding healing in what they are hearing.

The Music Rx program is available in Oregon and has now expanded to two Southland Hospitals – Mattel Children’s UCLA and Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

For information about the program, click here.


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