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Fender guitar contributions highlight start of Home with an Instrument program at Golisano

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Raising The Blues, a Massachusetts-based music therapy group, performed for patients, parents and staff at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital and made the first donation—two Fender guitars—to the hospital's new Home with an Instrument Program.

Music is gaining broader acceptance in the healthcare field as a therapy for patients, especially children. It is often used to help with pain management, lift spirits and to promote movement.

During long hospitalizations, music can become a hobby and a terrific distraction from the medical issues of the day, according to Anne Minton, music therapist at the Golisano Children's Hospital. "For many children who have not yet been introduced to music, their participation in this therapy can open a whole new world of interest for them," she said.

The intent of the Home with an Instrument Program is to provide musically inclined children with an instrument of their own when they leave the hospital. "This will enable students to continue with their new hobby as well as continue the healing they received while participating in our music therapy program," she said.

Raising The Blues launched the program with a donation of two Fender guitars. Minton hopes to encourage other music groups to follow suit.

"Who knows, perhaps we'll have an Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital band before too long," Minton said.