Patient Resources
Creative Arts Therapies

Creative Arts Therapies

Creative Arts Therapy is the use of creative arts, such as music, art, and drama, as a form of therapy. Cincinnati Children’s offers: Music Therapy at its Main Campus (Burnet), College Hill, and StarShine locations; Art Therapy at College Hill; and with the palliative care patients in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute. The Music Therapy department also offers a music therapy internship.

Creative Arts therapies can help the patient and family cope with their hospitalization and disease by providing opportunities for self-expression, elevating mood, as well as reducing fear, anxiety, and pain.

Music and Art therapy interventions may include singing, playing instruments, sculpting or collaging.

Creative Arts Therapies are part of the Division of Child Life and Integrative Care.

About Us

About Music Therapy 

Music therapists at Cincinnati Children's work with children of all ages and their families to address needs related to chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, psychiatric symptoms, end of life, procedural support, and coping with hospitalization and disease.

Music therapists design music interventions to support the non-musical needs of patient and family. Music interventions can include singing, playing instruments, music listening, dancing, song writing, and audio and visual recordings.

Music interventions designed by the music therapist may provide opportunities for:

  • Anxiety and stress reduction
  • Non-pharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Active and positive patient participation in treatment
  • Meaningful time spent together in a positive and creative way

Music therapists collaborate with the interdisciplinary team to support the patient and family in a comprehensive manner. In the hospital, patient objectives are relevant to medical diagnosis, course of treatment, and discharge timeline.

Board Certified Music Therapists (MT-BC) have completed a degree in Music Therapy, 6-month internship, and passed a national examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). Music therapists may continue their education by completing masters and doctoral programs in music therapy or a related field. 

About Art Therapy 

Art therapists at Cincinnati Children's work with patients and use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to enhance the patient's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The overall goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a patient’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.

During individual and/or group sessions art therapists elicit their patients’ inherent capacity for art-making to:

  • Explore and express their feelings
  • Foster self-awareness
  • Develop social skills
  • Improve reality orientation
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Increase self-esteem

An art therapist possesses a wide knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques. Art therapists have a background in visual art and have obtained a Masters in art therapy.

For more information about Art Therapy, please visit The American Art Therapy Association Website.

Music Therapy Videos

Heartbeat Music Therapy Helps Parents Cope with Loss of Teen
Songwriting and Music Lifts Spirits and Helps Family Get Through Surgeries
Music Therapy Helps 12-year-old Leukemia Patient