Mighty Blog

Music therapist shares his career experience at Children’s Minnesota

Board-certified music therapists bring joy, inspiration and healing to patients and families. A growing amount of evidence suggests that the power of music can also have significant benefits to patients and their families in clinical settings.

At Children’s Minnesota, we are grateful for our team of music therapists who make a positive impact in the lives of our patients and families.

We are excited to highlight Children’s Minnesota kid expert and board-certified music therapist, Tony May. Tony works with patients at our Minneapolis hospital. 

Get to know Tony!

Tell us about your role. 

Hi there! I’m Tony. I’m a board-certified music therapist for the 6th and 8th floors, and Limited Stay Unit at the Children’s Minnesota Minneapolis campus. I’ve been at Children’s Minnesota for about six months.

Tony May, board-certified music therapist at Children's Minnesota

My day-to-day includes, but is not limited to, using music to support procedures going on in patient rooms during the day (EEG electrode placement, IV insertion/removal, respiratory vest, etc.), supporting development for kids with longer hospitalizations, fostering coping skills, motor skills, speech skills, executive functioning, and making the hospital feel as normal as possible. In short, I use music to help kids accomplish non-musical goals here at the hospital.

What inspired you to become a music therapist? 

Music therapy as a field fell in my lap completely by accident in high school. I knew I wanted two things from my ideal career:

  1. Something that involved music.
  2. Something that involved directly helping people.

Someone was listening to me talk about what I wanted to do with my life and said, “Have you heard of music therapy?” and the rest is history.

Why did you decide to work in pediatrics? 

I’ve been working with kids since I graduated high school. Right when I graduated, I started to teach kindergarteners through third graders how to dance and do musical theater at summer camps. After doing that for a few years, I realized how fun working with kids can be and knew that was something that would be fulfilling to do with my life. I like to work with kids because of the perspective they bring to the world around them. They interact with their world in a fascinating and beautiful way and have the most unique approaches to solving problems.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love seeing kids laugh and smile here. It feels like such a rare joy to be able to bring to a kid’s hospital experience. When I’m able to make that happen for a patient family, I am at my most grateful and feel like I’ve chosen the right thing to do with my life.

What’s your favorite kind of music to play or listen to? 

I’m a huge lover of dance music, especially if the song is by a top-tier vocalist. Such music for me includes that of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston, Ariana Grande and Kylie Minogue. When it comes to favorite music to play on guitar or any instrument for that matter, Disney usually takes the cake.

Work at Children’s Minnesota

We at Children’s Minnesota have been caring for kids for 100 years. That kind of devotion requires a powerhouse team, health care professionals with talent, experience and heart. If that sounds like you, we’d love to have you join us. Apply today: childrensmn.org/careers.

Alexandra Rothstein