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Nonprofit Group Gifts Musical Instruments to Children at Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena

Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 12:11 pm

A nonprofit organization teamed with Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena last week to present young patients there with donated musical instruments to help raise their spirits and distract their minds from the medical conditions and treatments.

Music Has Healing Power showed up at the hospital, 909 S. Fair Oaks Ave., on Friday, which was also World Music Day, with a star-studded band and a delivery of donated musical instruments to benefit the hospital’s Child Life Program, according to Shriners.

Guitars, drums, cymbals, headphones, monitors, and educational materials were provided by companies including Gibson, Remo and Zildjian, the hospital said in a written statement.

The Child Life Program is meant “to help young patients cope with the stress and uncertainty of injury, disability, and surgery,” according to Shriners for  Children Medical Center Administrator Chris Dougherty.

“With the help of Music Has Healing Power, we are able to provide children comfort and reassurance while reducing their fear and anxiety,” Dougherty said. “We appreciate Music Has Healing Power for their support of this very important service. There is no question that  music can heal, Thanks to Music Has Healing Power, we can see that happen with the precious  children that come to Shriners.”

Instruments were donated not only at the hospital in Pasadena but also to six other Shriners hospitals throughout the U.S. and Mexico, said Aaron Hanson, Shriners for Children Medical Center director of development.

The musicians provided a concert in the hospital courtyard, with patients and their families invited to attend, Hanson said.

The performers included keyboardist and vocalist Bruce Lowe, who’s played with Steve Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elson John, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and many others; guitarist and vocalist Guy Thomas, who’s performed with acts including Kenny Loggins, Jackson Brown, Clint Black, Amy Black, and Crosby, Stills & Nash; drummer M.B. Gordy of the Doobie Bros., Green Day, Neil Diamond, Frank Zappa, and others; musician Marc Mann, whose credits include playing with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and more; bassist Carl Sealove, who’s played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Glen Campbell and Barry Manilow; two-time Emmy-nominated composer, keyboardist and vocalist Gary Stockdale; and former Shriners patient, poet and vocalist Bella Rose.

“The folks from Music Has Healing Power brought together a group of very accomplished studio musicians from L.A. And those musicians got together. They donated their time and they performed for about 45 minutes in our courtyard,” Hanson said.

The young patients were invited to join in with the band.

Beyond providing the children with an outlet to express themselves and grow artistically, music can be a valuable form of “distractive therapy,” Hanson explained.

“We use music therapy as a way to help children deal with the kind of pain and discomfort that comes along with either recovering from an operation or a surgical procedure or if they have a chronic mobility impairment. Sometimes, music therapy can be very helpful in helping them build strength and increase their own agility and mobility through the playing of instruments,” he said.

“And of course, music, in and of itself, has been shown to be very calming and relaxing,” Hanson added. “We use music therapy not only in Pasadena but all across the Shriner system.”

Music Has Power Director and CEO Bruce Lowe said he hoped the contribution would make a difference for the young patients.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to see the joy and the smiles on the precious kids’ faces when they are playing music. They seem to be lost in time. It’s a time when they aren’t worrying about their medical issues,” he said.

“Their health and wellness is our top priority and we are thrilled to be a part of this very special event,” Lowe said. “Witnessing the hope and love that surrounds these children is truly an awesome experience. We plan to spread the joy and donate to all 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children locations.”

More information on Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena is available online at

Additional information on Music Has Healing Power can be found at

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