Music Therapy

Music therapy is a healthcare practice that uses music-based practices to help improve your overall well-being.

Medical music therapy can enhance quality of life, increase self-awareness, and prevent or manage a range of physical and emotional symptoms through the use of live music and interactions with the music therapist. Our board-certified music therapists address physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual needs of people of all ages.

We use a wide variety of music depending on our patients’ preference and needs. No musical experience or background is necessary to participate in a music therapy session. Our repertoire includes country, rock, bluegrass, folk, musicals, gospel, jazz and more.

What are the benefits of music therapy?

Music therapists use the characteristics and elements of music to reduce pain, anxiety, agitation and stress; decrease any confusion; improve communication, self-expression and coping skills; enhance quality of life and spiritual comfort; increase a sense of control; provide socialization and stimulation; increase relaxation and overall wellness; elevate mood; and improve perception of treatment.

For more information on music therapy please see the website of the American Music Therapy Association at

What happens during a music therapy session?

Music therapy sessions typically occur in your room, where the music therapist may sing and play guitar or other instruments.

You and your family are encouraged to engage in music making, or you may choose to just listen. No musical experience is required to participate in music therapy. Music is provided as part of other therapy treatments or as a therapy treatment of its own.

Music alone is the therapy in many instances, such as a hymn providing spiritual comfort, a favorite song as distraction from pain or when music is used to calm agitation.

Other times, music is used within therapy, such as discussing song lyrics, reminiscing about memories elicited by songs or playing an instrument to enhance physical rehabilitation.

Common music therapy techniques include: lyric analysis; songwriting; playing instruments; guided imagery or visualization; progressive muscle relaxation; distraction; counseling; and life review.

How do I receive music therapy at UK HealthCare?

Music therapy is offered per doctors’ orders to inpatients at UK HealthCare. Patients may ask their physicians to place an order for the service. 

For more information about the Creative Arts Therapies Department, please email or call 859-323-4325 (HEAL). 

Meet us

Laura Elliott Buckner, MM, MT-BC

Elliott is a part-time/PRN music therapist at UK HealthCare and provides music therapy services to patients at Good Samaritan Hospital. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and they received their Master of Music in Music Therapy from the University of Kentucky in 2023. In addition to their degrees, Elliott completed the Diversity and Inclusion graduate certificate at UK. Elliott has experience providing services to people all along the lifespan from 6 months to 90 years old. They adhere to the Affirmative Model of Disability in their work and strive to provide accessible and equitable music therapy for a greater quality of life.

Courtney Catron, MM, MT-BC

Courtney provides music therapy for the patients at Eastern State Hospital. Courtney received her master of music in music therapy degree from the University of Kentucky and interned at Eastern State Hospital and UK HealthCare. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from Asbury University and taught public school music for several years prior to pursing music therapy education. She returns to Eastern State Hospital after extensive experience in medical care, hospice, intellectual disability and early intervention.

Jamie E. Cobb, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Jamie provides services for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, including NICU, NACU, PICU and pediatrics. She has a bachelor of arts degree from Transylvania University in music education and a master’s in music therapy from the University of Kentucky. She interned in Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, Ky., and worked in many central Kentucky schools until joining UK HealthCare and Kentucky Children’s Hospital in 2023. She has additional experience with older adults in memory care and with adults with disabilities. She has also been adjunct professor at Asbury University teaching Intro to Music Therapy. Jamie believes in serving the whole Commonwealth with respect and dignity, regardless of, and in honor of, all of our differences, and is an advocate for LGBTQAI+.

Melissa Deaton, MM, MT-BC

Melissa is a part-time music therapist at UK HealthCare. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from William Carey University in 2016. After completing her internship at Seasons Hospice of St. Louis and receiving her board certification, she earned her master’s degree in music therapy at the University of Kentucky. Melissa has worked with adults in skilled nursing facilities as well as with children and adolescents in the CAS, early intervention and in private practice.

Katrina Koszczuk, MM, MT-BC, NMT-Fellow

Katrina joined the UK HealthCare team in 2018. Her Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy is from Illinois State University and her Master of Music in Music Therapy is from Colorado State University, where she also completed NMT training and later became an NMT Fellow. Since 2008, Katrina has gained clinical experience with autism, pervasive developmental disabilities, neurological impairment, behavioral health, and inpatient rehabilitation populations. Her greatest passions are providing efficacious MT services and lifelong learning.

Grace Lauzon, MM, MT-BC

Grace is a board-certified music therapist serving the patients of UKHC Good Samaritan Hospital, joining the team in 2022. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice) and her master’s degree in music therapy from the University of Kentucky. In addition, she holds NICU music therapy and LGBTQAI+ Safe Zone training certifications. Grace has a wide array of clinical experience in private practice and outpatient settings including community centers, assisted living, skilled nursing, and education. Her experience working in the disability community has heavily influenced her philosophy of creating accessible therapeutic services for people of all abilities and backgrounds

Jennifer Peyton, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT

Jennifer is a board-certified music therapist who has been practicing since 2003. At UK HealthCare, she provides services in Markey Cancer Center and in General Medicine. She received her bachelor of music education degree from Louisiana State University and her master of music in music therapy degree from Florida State University. She helped create the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy, which provides the NICU-MT certification, and she is a NICU-MT Fellow. Jennifer has worked in medical, hospice, rehabilitation and psychiatric settings and joined UK HealthCare in 2014. She regularly presents at national and regional conferences, has contributed to numerous music therapy publications, and serves on the AMTA Competency Review Task Force.

Matthew Proffitt, MM, MT-BC

Matt is a board-certified music therapist who joined the team in 2023 and serves the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and its Behavioral Health Unit. He received his undergraduate degree in music education in 2009 and his master’s degree in music therapy in 2015 both from the University of Kentucky. Matt has worked with numerous populations since becoming board-certified in 2014 with most of his time spent in the Fayette County Public Schools where he worked with children with special needs. Matt also serves on the Kentucky State Task Force for Music Therapy which serves as an advocacy group for music therapy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is passionate about music therapy in practice and also enjoys being part of its growth in Kentucky and seeing it become more accessible across the Bluegrass.

Paula White, MS, MT-BC

Paula joined the UK Integrative Medicine & Health program in July 2023, serving as a music therapist for UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree in music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and later earned her master of science degree in music therapy from SUNY New Paltz in New York. Paula specializes in providing music therapy services for skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care and hospice. Her clinical experience also includes working with children and adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities in both school and residential settings.


At UK HealthCare, music therapy is part of Integrative Medicine & Health and is closely affiliated with the UK Arts in HealthCare program. Learn about the music therapy internship.

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