Date of Award

Summer 6-27-2023

Document Type


First Advisor

Katie Whipple, MMT, LPMT, MT-BC

Second Advisor

Laurie Peebles, PhD., LPMT, MT-BC

Third Advisor

Susan Craig, MBA, MM, LPMT, MT-BC


The purpose of this project was to develop an individualized Management for Differing Types of Pain in Cerebral Palsy: Music Therapy Protocol on the use of music therapy for pain management and reduction with individuals with cerebral palsy. Most studies addressing pain and music therapy do not investigate the cerebral palsy population. Therefore, a synthesis of the current literature of pain and music therapy informed the development of this protocol. Many individuals in this population experience pain daily and research investigating pain management for this population is needed. The protocol developed outlines interventions to reduce pain specific to the cerebral palsy diagnosis based on a synthesis of the literature from different populations experiencing pain.

The sessions outline 30 minutes of music therapy interventions to alleviate specific types of pain for clients with cerebral palsy with reminders to music therapists to constantly assess for pain and discomfort within sessions. Along with the protocol, the music therapist developed five music tracks to accompany the interventions presented within the protocol. The music therapist developed a guided imagery backing track, heartbeat entrainment track, slow breathing music assisted relaxation track, vagus nerve stimulation backing track, and an alternative music engagement backing track. The music therapist synthesized all research found on specific musical elements that reduce pain and used these parameters when creating each track. Each music track can be manipulated within GarageBand to best fit the needs of each client.