Healing Preemies Through Music

Just as music has the power to soothe our souls and uplift our spirits, the same holds true for preemies navigating the challenges of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Consider those moments when a tough day at work is met with the therapeutic embrace of music, the volume turned up a little higher in the car before entering the haven of home. Or think about putting on headphones in a noisy environment to drown out unpleasant sounds. Now, transpose these scenarios to the world of preemies—innocent beings abruptly introduced to a cacophony of beeps, alarms, and sometimes jarring noises within the NICU.

A heartwarming story comes to light involving a grandfather who, determined to alleviate the noise-related challenges faced by his twin granddaughters in the NICU, turned to the soothing melodies of his harp. What began as a personal endeavor to comfort the girls evolved into a harmonious initiative that resonated with many within the NICU community.


DENVER -- At Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) in Colorado, premature babies are finding music can be medicine.

CBS Denver reports it's thanks to a doting grandfather who is performing mini concerts to calm the tiny babies who entered the world too early.

In her room in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), baby Brianna hears a symphony of bells and beeps. Those are the sounds of the machines in the NICU checking her breathing and body temperature.

But for two weeks now, James Excell's harp music has accompanied the monitors. It's the sound of soothing strings meant to heal.

"It's called prescriptive music," said Excell, a certified music-thanatologist. 

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