Feel the Music! for Kids Kicking Cancer

Feel the Music! Kids Kicking Cancer workshops engage the mind and heart so the body can heal.

In 2011, Feel the Music! began a partnership with the Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center, to bring music to children & teens waiting for oncology treatments. The long hours spent “in the waiting room” are especially stressful and grueling for children and their caregivers. Through singing, songwriting, percussion, guitar and cello workshops, our teaching artists create a safe and creative space in which healing and self-expression can take place.

Feel the Music! teaching artists adapt to the unique and ever-changing needs of an outpatient clinic environment – whether offering a soothing song on the cello, a guitar lesson, recording, a personalized songwriting session, sing along or full drumming class. We meet children and their caregivers where they are, creating a palpable change in the hospital environment, bringing smiles, joy and creative discovery through music.

Feel the Music! at Kids Kicking Cancer

– brings joy & creative exploration
– creates community & bonding
– involves everyone – children, caregivers and hospital staff – in feeling the music


Music is a widely used and researched discipline in health care, and has repeatedly been shown to positively affect health. Feel the Music! for Kids Kicking Cancer is currently offered at the Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

“I absolutely love Feel the Music and all the artists that have come in to work with our children…they really bring a unique activity for the children that the children are excited about, and they really are able to draw out all of our children, even the shyest child, to participate, sing, dance and create.”
– Sonia Lugo, Director of Child Life


“He came in here in a bad mood, and he danced out.”

“My son danced and laughed and sang along. It was great!”

“That was so much fun, when are they coming back?”

“It was such a delight to watch children become swept up in and lost in the fun and beauty that IS live music.”

“My son loved playing the instruments and dancing along to the music.”

“…the pure physicality of it is primal and freeing….and the kids can express themselves with no pressure & let it all out!”

“The music has the power to transcend & transform their moods and watching them respond and get involved is pure joy. “

“The energy the music creates is contagious, some of the kids that are the shyest end up participating in the end.”

For more stories, click HERE.


For more information on research and benefits of music participation in health, click HERE.