Challenges to Music Therapy Programming: A Case Study of Innovation, Burden, and Resilience in United States Hospitals


  • John Mondanaro Louis Armstrong Music Therapy Department Mount Sinai Beth Israel New York, NY 11209



The business of healthcare has grown exponentially in the past several decades to meet growing expectations of a consumer population subscribing to institutional healthcare. Simultaneously, there has been a growing trend toward holistic lifestyle, and healthier life choices. These culminating factors create greater demand on hospitals to provide services that are inclusive of both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment. The provision of integrative treatment options such as music therapy to meet this demand has become a competitive feature of corporate healthcare, yet full integration of music therapy is challenged in a myriad of ways.

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into challenges faced by 8 music therapy programs across the U.S., and the strategies employed by the respective directors/supervisors, in order to inform other programs facing similar challenges. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 directors/supervisors of 8 merited programs that either closed or had sustained substantial reduction in programming.  Each interview spanned 3 thematic areas of query: Beginnings, Winds of Change, and Retrospective Introspection.  Interview content, analyzed using the Listening Guide: A Voice-Centered Relational Method, divulged broad themes of innovation, internal and external burden, and resilience.

Author Biography

John Mondanaro, Louis Armstrong Music Therapy Department Mount Sinai Beth Israel New York, NY 11209

  1. John Mondanaro MA, LCAT, MT-BC, CCLS is the Clinical Director for the  Louis Armstrong Music Therapy Department at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, and a PhD candidate in Music therapy at New York University.


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