Music therapy is available for current NOMC patients only.

Please reach out to your NOMC provider and ask for a referral.

music therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is used in a variety of groups and locations, including education, mental health, physical rehabilitation, hospitals, and many more. Music therapists design music interventions to meet non-musical goals. For example, music may be structured to organize the body and prompt movement in physical rehabilitation, provide non-pharmacological with pain control, carry essential information to those with learning difficulties, and revive memories for those with dementia. Sessions involve both live and recorded music, and are individualized to each patient’s needs.

Through the generous Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc grant, we have been able to provide both group and individual services to musicians in the New Orleans community. Among many topics, focus has included sessions focused on performance anxiety, depression, substance misuse, creativity, and self-expression. Our clients have reported increased self-esteem, decreased anxiety, improved social skills, and more! We are currently facilitating a group for NOMC/NOMAF clinic staff and providers in July and are hoping to coordinate some community education events in the future while still accepting patient referrals from NOMC. We look forward to serving the creative community of New Orleans in the future.

Benefits of Music Therapy

Woman forming a heart shape with hands

Emotional Benefits

  • Reduces social anxiety
  • Expression of grief and other traumatic feelings
  • Curbs impulsivity
red plastic heart in human hands

Physical Benefits

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Improves fine motor skills
silhouette of head with brain

Neurological Benefits

  • Aids insomnia issues
  • Reduces headaches
  • Healing for patients with traumatic brain injuries
penny roberts

Dr. Penny Roberts, PhD, MT-BC

Penny Roberts, PhD, MT-BC, holds degrees in Piano Pedagogy, Music Therapy, and PhD in Aging. Dr. Roberts brings over 20 years experience as a music therapist to the Musician’s Clinic. She is the co-author of the Individualized Music Therapy Assessment Profile (IMTAP), has authored book chapters, and published several papers. Dr. Roberts is an active member of the New Orleans community, using music to serve clients with a variety of needs including aging-associated issues such as dementia, mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, and physical needs such as chronic pain.

“Music has been used as a tool of healing since the time of the ancients, and the joy of shared sound is needed today more than ever. It is with great excitement that the NOMC welcomes the New Orleans’ Music Therapy program into our mental health services – for the betterment of all.”

-John J. Hutchings, M.D.

Director of GI Clinical Operations
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry & Family Medicine
Director of Psychiatric Services – NOMC
The Allen D. Meisel M.D. Endowed Professor of Gastroenterology
LSU Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology

John Hutchings MD

This program is made possible by generous support from

The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc.

Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation