Bruno Mars Sings for Patients
On Dec. 1, patients and families in treatment at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases were invited to a surprise performance and interactive music session with Grammy Award-winning artists Bruno Mars.
The visit was a stop on the Get Well Soon Tour (GWST), which unites musicians to bring happiness and light to sick children through musical performances at hospitals around the world.
GWST co-founder and musician Austin Bisnow kicked off the visit, welcoming patients and families to the Family Lounge, which had been transformed into a jam circle complete with guitars, a microphone, bongos, tambourines, and shakers.
Austin handed out instruments to patients and got the excited crowd warmed up while they waited for the surprise guest to arrive. With his guitar in hand and back up from the kids, he pounded out a few of their favorite cover songs, ranging from Justin Bieber to some Bruno favorites.
When Austin finally revealed the identity of the surprise guest, some patient’s and parents clapped while others sat in awe. Bruno kicked off the set with his hit, “The Lazy Song,” which was a favorite among the patients. It was his kid-like nature and passion for music that really meshed well with the patients; he made a special impression, calling them by name and encouraging them to play along.
There was definite talent in the room, but it wasn’t all coming from Bruno. The kids displayed their knack for music, singing along, rapping with Bruno and requesting songs old and new. Bruno explained the benefits of music and the effect it has on him. “Music is a good outlet to express how you feel,” he said. In all, it was the interactions that Bruno had with the patients that gave the visit a personal touch.
His ability to communicate with the kids, sing for them and with them made the visit one that will be etched in the memories of each in attendance. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles encourages personal expression through Music Therapy and other forms of art, which is made available to patients through the Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer Artists Program. The innovative program model brings together local artists and performers with registered and certified Creative Arts Therapists to assist patients and families in building coping skills, exploring the thoughts and feelings related to hospitalization and illness, and utilizing the arts for exploration and self-expression.