Ep. 22: Putting Joy on the Menu for Hospitalized Kids, with Children’s Cancer Association’s MyMusicRx

Volunteer Jackson Smood plays hall music at Randall Children’s Hospital (Portland, Oregon).

December 24, 2019


For nearly 25 years, MyMusicRx has delivered joy-based music programming to kids of all ages and diagnoses at pediatric hospitals. MyMusicRx’s  bedside and online programs relieve stress, anxiety, and perception of pain for hospitalized kids. Engaging musical experiences include live, in-hospital concerts; one-on-one bedside music lessons and performances; online music lessons, games, and exclusive artist content. The flagship program of Children’s Cancer Association, MyMusicRx is provided free of charge and is available to anyone.


I have the pleasure today of doing an in-person interview, on location in Portland Oregon, with the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA). I have two guests with me today: Danielle York, President and General Manager at CCA; and Maura Boyce, Senior Director of Programs at CCA.

MyMusicRx Backgrounder

  • For nearly 25 years, MyMusicRx, has delivered Joy-based music programming to seriously ill kids and teens at pediatric hospitals.
  • CCA’s bedside and online MyMusicRx programs engage hospitalized kids with tailored, one-on-one music experiences, relieving stress, anxiety, and perception of pain.
  • MyMusicRx’s trained music specialists engage hospitalized kids of all ages and diagnoses, playing music for and with them and their families.
  • Their state-of-the-art music carts are stocked with teaching quality instruments for kids to explore, and tablets loaded with music, games, and lessons.
  • The program extends online at MyMusicRx.org with exclusive artist performances, games, and music lessons.
  • MyMusicRx.org is available to more than 8,000 kids in children’s hospitals across the nation.
  • Live, in-hospital concerts complete the MyMusicRx experience.
  • CCA’s goal is to place MyMusicRx in 250 children’s hospitals and medical centers by the year 2025.
  • Bedstock is the first and only online music festival where artists play from bed for sick kids stuck in theirs. It helps raise funds for Children’s Cancer Association and our flagship MyMusicRx program that brings the healing power of music to hospitalized kids across the country.
  • At CCA, we believe all kids deserve long, wonderful lives. Or at the very least, short, wonderful lives. That’s why our programs leverage music, nature, friendship, and resources to create transformative moments of joy for families facing cancer and other serious illnesses.
  • CCA’s award winning, free-of-charge services are made possible with the generous support of individuals in the music industry, and donors and brand partners, including Nike, Converse, and Sonos.


MyMusicRx’s music lessons are free-of-charge and available to anyone; Maura encourages listeners to utilize the lessons to learn to play an instrument, such as the ukulele, to experience firsthand the impact of music and playing music. 



Maura shares her personal experience showcasing how music medicine helped her as a seriously ill teenager. CCCA also shares with us the audio from a couple of their “MyMusicRx-clusives:” Q&A with Billie Eilish and Jason Aldean! (View these videos – and more – on MyMusicRx’s home page.)


A special thank goes to listener Jacqueline, who sent in today’s Listener Improv. Jacqueline says: “I use music to enhance my exercise performance – it pushes me to work harder when I want to stop.  I strategically put the faster songs after I have worked out for 20 minutes as that is when my body wants to naturally stop or slow down.” Thank you so much, Jacqueline, for sending that in – this Improv is especially timely, as we will be talking more next week about music’s effect on exercise and athletic performance. Thanks again, Jacqueline. Listeners – please send me YOUR Improv – a Try-This-At-Home, experiment, or hack – a practical, concrete way YOU enhance life with music. I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below, comment on social media (I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn), or send me an email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com). Today is December 24; tomorrow is Christmas Day! For those of you who celebrate Christmas, warm wishes for a special and meaningful celebration. A special shout-out to all of you who are celebrating Christmas in a hospital. I hope all of you listening are able to enjoy some time off with loved ones this week. I’ll be back in your ears next Tuesday, on the last day of 2019! Thank you for joining us today. If you enjoy the show, please subscribe, rate, and review in whatever podcatcher you use – and tell a friend! Consider it a free and environmentally friendly stocking stuffer! Until next week, Merry Christmas; and may your life be enhanced with music.