Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program

Music therapy helps hospitalized kids heal and cope

At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, the Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program is a pillar of our Child Life Creative Arts Program. The team consists of board certified music therapists Matthew Logan and Brianna Negrete.

In addition to being a lot of fun, music therapy at UCSF is grounded in the most up-to-date research in music and medicine. Our music therapists help kids and teens:

  • Manage their pain
  • Reduce stress and relax
  • Re-learn how to walk, talk and move
  • Express emotions
  • Build resilience and coping strategies
  • Connect creatively with other patients
  • Find enjoyment and peace while in the hospital

We also provide music therapy in our Intensive Care Nursery, where music is used to help babies:

  • Reduce stress in order to sleep
  • Grow their brains and learn to tolerate light, sound and touch
  • Eat and gain weight
  • Go home faster
  • Support bonding with parents

Music therapy listens to the whole child, brings forth their abilities and gives opportunities for creative self-expression. It provides space for a kid to be a kid, allowing the child to express all the wonder, creativity and inspiration they have to share with the world.

Bedside Music Therapy

Bedside music therapy is provided on a referral basis. This means that if a doctor, nurse or other hospital staff identifies a need, they can ask one of our music therapists to visit the patient. Music therapy interventions might include:

  • Playing instruments for emotional expression or release
  • Singing for expression, improved breath control or to work on challenging speech sounds
  • Finding connection and inspiration in song lyrics
  • Working toward developmental milestones through musical play
  • Family music-making for stress reduction

Each session looks different and takes into account the strengths and needs of the child and their family.

Group Music Therapy

Every week, patients and families come together and join their creative energies through music. On Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the Creative Arts Studio turns into the San Francisco Song Factory, one of the most electric and imaginative places in all of the city. Patients can create and record original songs using professional recording equipment or they can record the next rock anthem or hip hop hit! Other days we may set up the studio for karaoke!

On Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., swing by the Creative Arts Studio for Music Group! On these days, we could be jamming on drums, writing songs, building a band or relaxing while listening to (or even singing!) your favorite tunes.

Support the Music Therapy Program

To support the Music Therapy Program, please send your donation to the following address. Please specify "Music Therapy Program San Francisco" in your contribution.

Child Life Department
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco
1975 Fourth St.
San Francisco, CA 94158

Thank you for supporting the Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program. Research shows that music therapy is extremely valuable in helping kids feel better, get well and go home. At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, we blend age-old knowledge with cutting-edge approaches, and we need your help to continue growing. When you invest in this program, you are helping kids get effective non-pharmacological treatment. Our goal is for every patient to get music therapy and to be leaders in research and training. You can help us get there.

Your gift will help:

  • Buy instruments and new therapeutic technologies
  • Fund industry-leading research
  • Increase staffing and accessibility to music therapy
  • Ensure the ongoing strength and viability of the program for years to come

You can easily support the Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program today by donating items from our Amazon Wish List for patients.

Contact Information

Matthew Logan: Matthew.Logan@ucsf.edu
Brianna Negrete: Brianna.Negrete@ucsf.edu