Kids let it go and sing through their hospital stays


When Banner Children’s music therapist Sarra Erb met 7-year-old Hazel* for the first time, she knew two things: Hazel was recently diagnosed with cancer and she was quite shy.

“I sang one of her favorite songs from Frozen and played lots of wacky instruments,” Sarra explains. “She did appear shy and withdrawn. But slowly, she sang along every so often in a soft and quiet voice.” The following day, Hazel saw Sarra walking toward her room and started jumping up and down and waving her arms. “The nursing staff, Child Life, and doctors were stunned. They’d never seen Hazel so engaged, so happy, and full of energy.”

That’s the power of music. And why music therapy is such an important focal point of fundraising for pediatrics—as the program is supported fully by charitable gifts.

“I’ve seen music therapy change lives in the hospital. It truly helps remind families that kids can be kids here,” says Sarra. “We strive to normalize this unusual setting for children by providing them ample opportunities for meaningful activity.”

To support music therapy at Banner Children’s, visit the link above and choose Music Therapy in the gift designation menu.

*Name changed to protect patient privacy