The Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine


Updated 08/14/2019


Music therapy services provided by expertly trained by First Sounds: Rhythm, Breath and Lullaby teams utilize live sound and music to replicate the auditory environment in the womb. By re-creating a womb-like environment through entrained sounds and music, music therapy has been shown to deepen infant sleep-state, support infant self-regulation, assist in the stabilization of breathing and heart rates, enhance parent/infant bonding, sooth irritability, re-enforce feeding/sucking rhythms and weight gain, and promote a sense of safety during painful procedures.

For the full-term infant hospitalized in the NICU due to complex medical needs, music therapy interventions including: contingent singing, the use of harmonic and melodic instruments to provide a “blanket of sound”, tonal-vocal holding, songs of kin and lullabies that may provide comfort, stability, promote bonding, establish social connections and foster healing via self-regulation, as well as address the developmental, physical and emotional needs of the infants.  

Families of NICU infants may experience stress, trauma and anxiety related to to their infant’s hospitalization. Music psychotherapy interventions for families of NICU infants seek to encourage and support the caregiver-infant bonding process, provide trauma amelioration, offer a means of coping, supply a tangible way for caregivers to connect to their infant through songwriting/creating, to provide respite for families.



Creating a 'song of kin' with father, mother and baby Jessica in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Web design: © Bernardo Canga

The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy. Mount Sinai Beth Israel

281 1st Avenue at 16th Street  New York, NY 10003

Phone: 212-420-2704   Fax: 212-420-2726