Harria Kim

Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Master of Science in Music Therapy


Music Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Maria "Nina" Guerrero


This study explored the lived experience of music therapists working with parents of premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). While there are many studies regarding the effects of music therapy on parents and premature infants in the NICU, few in-depth qualitative studies focus on the experiences and perspectives of music therapists working in the NICU. The present study aims to explore music therapists’ experiences of working with the parents of premature infants in the NICU and their perspectives on how music therapy can meet the needs of these parents. Data were collected through audio-video recording and transcription of semistructured interviews. The data were analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) modification of van Kaam’s method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The findings consisted of six common themes across participants: (a) witnessing parents’ difficulties and providing support, (b) music therapy advocacy, (c) serving as a bridge between parents and their babies, (d) utilizing various interventions, (e) mediating between parents and medical staff, and (f) setting boundaries. These common themes explored music therapists’ experiences and supported the need to recognize the roles and challenges of music therapists working in the NICU.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Music Therapy Commons