The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy

Welcome to the Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy at Mount Sinai. Since 1994, our programs have received funding through a generous grant from the Louis Armstrong Foundation. We have been fortunate to receive additional funding from a variety of organizations including: the Gary Dial Fund, NYFE (New York Foundation for Elder Care), Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, the Grammy Foundation, the Heather on Earth Music Foundation, the Remo Foundation, the Helen Sawaya Fund, and various estates directed by the late hospital trustee Richard Netter. These donations have enabled us to explore rich, new, and exciting clinical areas and community research endeavors.

The music therapists at the Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy conduct daily sessions with patients at Mount Sinai receiving care in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), maternity unit, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), pediatric emergency room, respiratory step-down, and at the Peter Kruger Clinic. Additionally, our music therapists work with patients receiving services in departments such as family medicine, oncology, and pain medicine and palliative care (including hospice).

The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy has launched several outpatient services in clinics and schools through the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. Two of our innovative programs incorporate mind-body techniques for adults in both pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation: Music for AIR (Advances in Respiration) and Music for CAIR (Cardiac Advances in Rehabilitation). Our Asthma Initiative Program (AIP) helps children and teens with asthma to use music visualization and play woodwind instruments (such as recorders and flutes).

The Louis Armstrong Department of Music serves the unique health care needs of a variety of individuals including:

  • Adults with COPD and/or heart disease
  • Adults with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease or those who have previously had a stroke
  • Cancer patients (regardless of stage or type). We use music to address symptoms such as nausea and 'chemo-brain (a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment), anxiety, and/or depression
  • Children with emotional needs such as ADHD, depression, and PDD
  • Children with autism and intellectual disabilities
  • Children and teens with asthma
  • Musicians and performing artists who have performance-related physical ailments and emotional issues

The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy provides a broad range of services throughout the medical center and within the Mount Sinai Hospital communities. Our mission ensures that our staff provides state-of-the-art care to complement medical treatment.

We are affiliated with multiple educational institutions including New York University, Hahnemann Creative Arts in Therapy Program at Drexel University, Molloy College, and the University of Barcelona. We are part of the International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

Our music therapy team is comprised of multiple music therapists, interns from our extensive graduate program, as well as clinicians and researchers who have been selected from universities across the world to take part in our advanced fellowship program.

Our team receives training in current music psychotherapy techniques such as clinical improvisation, music meditation, pain management, sedation, end-of-life, and breathing modalities of music and healing.

We also provide training for international students during the summer months. Our team conducts research in conjunction with doctors and nurses, providing world-class care and creative attention to the patients and families we serve.