The Music Therapy program uses music and the therapeutic relationship to address the physical, spiritual, emotional, cognitive and social needs of neonatal, pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients throughout the hospital system. Music is the tool, but healing is the goal.

Meet our Music Therapists!

Kate Leonard and Kari Podboy are board-certified Music Therapists who are the talent and heart behind the Music Therapy program. Kari works with adult and geriatric patients through Behavioral Health units, Palliative Care and also at the Inpatient Hospice facility. Kate specializes in pediatric care, and serves patients in the Neonatal ICU, Pediatrics floor, Pediatric ICU and the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. Both are using their extensive training and love for music to heal, relax and facilitate change for patients in creative ways, including cognitive, physical, and emotional. 

It’s not about learning how to play music …

What does Music Therapy look like in action? Examples include providing support and distraction during procedures, using songwriting to help patients express their emotions, encouraging breathing regulation and relaxation through listening, and even reducing anxiety and pain through music. Because music therapy is a powerful and non-invasive medium, unique outcomes are possible. Goals can include:

  • Anxiety, stress and pain reduction

  • Positive changes in mood and patient participation

  • Emotional support and expression

  • Bereavement support

  • Helping patients and families cope with hospitalization


“I like how calming it is. I have a lot of anxiety because I have been here so long ... Kate is not someone who makes me anxious when she comes in, and I think I needed that. That is very helpful for me.”
Mackenzie, 16


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