Medicine with a melody

For patients at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, there is a special type of medicine that helps to alleviate the pain and anxiety normally experienced during treatment. That medicine is called music.

Next week (13 July - 17 July), Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead will be celebrating Music Therapy Week to raise awareness about the vital role music can play in aiding the treatment, recovery and healing process.

"Music Therapy is about building resilience through music. We use music as a means of distraction during challenging treatments, as a way for children to explore skills and the unfamiliar Hospital environment, and as a tool to develop positive memories, this is particularly important when it comes to palliative patients. I’m inspired everyday by children’s connection to music and feel privileged to be able to facilitate this to help them cope during tough times," said Matt Ralph, Music Therapist at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.

Music Therapists at both hospitals use music regualrly as a tool to help sick children cope with their illness, deal with the stress and anxiety associated with being in hospital, distract from pain and give children an outlet to freely express their emotion. This special therapy is often delivered through instrument playing, song writing and composition, singing and performance and creative improvisation while innovations in technology have also given Music Therapists the power to engage children through musical applications on iPads.

“Through Music Therapy we are able to make a very special connection with a child, no matter what their age or condition, and we are able to offer them a medicine that they actually enjoy taking. This makes the world of difference,” Roxanne McLeod, Music Therapist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead said.
For more information about Music Therapy, visit