Music in the NICU: The Role of Nurses in Neuroprotection

Neonatal Netw. 2017 Jul 1;36(4):213-217. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832.36.4.213.


Early exposure to age-appropriate, meaningful auditory stimuli, such as lullaby singing, has been shown to advance various medical and developmental goals in premature infants in the NICU while reducing medical costs. A primary goal of NICU music therapists is to control auditory stimuli in the unit to help premature infants reach the greatest possible sedation. In hospitals with limited or no NICU music therapy (NICU-MT) coverage, nurses and other NICU staff can play an important role in providing neuroprotection to these premature infants while also optimizing neurodevelopment via use of recorded music. Based on current literature, this article provides a set of evidence-based guidelines for the use of recorded music with premature infants.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adult
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music Therapy*
  • Neuroprotection / physiology*
  • Nurse's Role*