Music Therapist Kirsten Nelson

Music therapy is the systematic use of music as a tool to accomplish non-musical goals that may address the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of the patient.

Music therapists have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in music therapy from a nationally accredited program and carry national Board Certification. (MT-BC)

In a music therapy session, professionally trained music therapists use a variety of musical experiences to create a therapeutic relationship with the child.

  • Listening to music encourages movement, comforts and provides relaxation
  • Singing encourages speech, deep breathing and elevates mood
  • Playing instruments establishes interaction and encourages choice-making
  • Songwriting, discussing lyrics, and improvisation improves self expression and encourages adaptive coping skills.

What are the goals of music therapy?

  • Decrease agitation and anxiety
  • Decrease perception of pain
  • Maintain motor skills
  • Maintain/improve physiological function such as heart rate and oxygen saturation
  • Elevate mood
  • Encourage self-expression
  • Teach adaptive coping skills
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction

Patients and visitors

Health Information

Patient Stories

Locations and Contact

  • UI Hospitals and Clinics
    1701B John Pappajohn Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: Elevator J, Level 1
    • Phone: 319-356-4718
    • Phone: 319-353-8568