The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts has awarded City of Hope an $8,000 grant to support music therapy sessions for patients through the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.
Patient support services at the Biller Resource Center include a variety of healing arts programs such as music therapy, reflecting City of Hope’s unique commitment to caring for the entire person.
Grant monies will allow City of Hope to contract a music therapist and buy musical instruments for a series of workshops that will engage patients in an array of activities and interventions designed to alleviate stress and support healing, according to Annette Mercurio, M.P.H., C.H.E.S., manager of the Department of Patient, Family and Community Education. Approaches may include song writing and lyric discussion, singing or using a variety of instruments to improvise and make music together.
Past support from the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts has enabled thousands of people at City of Hope affected by cancer to benefit from the healing power of music. Ongoing performances, including day and evening concerts, interactive workshops, visits to patient rooms, and music in waiting areas and hallways have lifted the spirits of patients, family members and medical center staff alike, Mercurio said.
One such program is Lisa Lynne’s immensely popular Hands-on-Harps Healing Music Program at City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital, funded by Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts grants from 2002 to 2005. Lynne, a veteran musician and performer, incorporates live Celtic harp music into her inspiring patient treatment sessions, which benefited about 8,000 cancer patients and their families and community members in 2005 alone.
“People who take part in Hands-on-Harps are very moved that City of Hope offers this to them,” said Lynne. “I believe this goes along with the philosophy that healing is a balance between what medical technology has to offer, and what lifts the spirit and brings families closer together.”
Mercurio said the program has profoundly affected patients. “The Hands-on-Harps program has been tremendously successful due to Lisa Lynne’s dedication, compassion and ability to connect heart-to-heart with individuals through her music,” said Mercurio.
“One indication of the program’s success is the fact that Lisa is teaching staff at other hospitals how to develop similar programs.”
The Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts has donated millions of dollars to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, schools and other local nonprofit organizations such as City of Hope to ensure that music is appreciated and supported by a broad range of audiences.