Care, Compassion, & Controversy: Supporting Children in a Covid-19 Vaccine Pod through Music Therapy & Child Life


  • John F Mondanaro Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy Mount Sinai Health System New York, NY
  • Jessica Sturgeon Child life intern



Music therapy, child life, Covid-19, vaccine pod, procedural support


The Covid-19 pandemic has had a trajectory punctuated by controversy, from understanding the virus itself to the development of therapeutics and a vaccine. The offering of vaccination  to children through a destination Covid-19 vaccine pod foregrounded the need for procedural support within a psychosocial reality of children and families navigating the pandemic. Children receiving the Covid-19 vaccine benefitted from a synthesis of music therapy and child life services into a comprehensive approach that proved essential for not only the child, but for personal caregivers, and very often the nursing staff administering the vaccine itself.

This article presents the praxis of psychoeducational interventions, psychotherapeutic support, and procedural support including both pre- and post-procedural interventions to support children receiving the Covid-19 vaccine,

Author Biography

John F Mondanaro, Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy Mount Sinai Health System New York, NY



John Mondanaro PhD, MT-BC, LCAT, CCLS is the Clinical Director of the Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy, where he oversees inpatient services and all clinical training programs. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Therapy from New York University, where he serves as an adjunct professor in the Steinhardt Departments of Music Therapy and Applied Psychology. John is licensed as a creative arts therapist in New York, and maintains dual certification in music therapy and Child Life practice. He has written and presented extensively on the arts in healthcare, and is a co-editor of the book, Music and Medicine: Integrative Models in the Treatment of Pain.  As a music psychotherapist specializing in palliative care through the lifespan, John’s training and experience across the expressive arts has culminated in a unique clinical approach that is humanistic to the core, in its valuing of body, mind, and spirit integration.






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