The CC Strummers, a Culver City Real Estate area ukulele group headed by Cali Rose, visited the Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA on January 23 to performed for patients and their families. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, noticed that the visit was one of many bimonthly trips to the hospital that began in 2016.
Michael Kohan explained how the group initially got involved with volunteering at the Mattel Children’s Hospital. After receiving a donation to help with the tech needs of the group, Kohan decided, “it should be used for charitable purposes.”
“Following discussion it was turned over to the Ukulele Kids Club (theukc.org). Following the donation I was contacted by Corey Bergman, who initiated the club after his young son died,” Kohan continued. “Mattel was one of the places he suggested where we could entertain sick children.”
The Ukulele Kids Club’s mission is to harness the healing power of music by supporting music therapy programs. It provides ukuleles to hospital-based music therapy programs so that children in need can be sent home with the gift of music for life. To date over 5,000 ukuleles have been gifted to hospitalized children.
Participating with Cali Rose and Michael Kohan during the January 23 visit were Ed Daniel, Mollie Wine, Ann Cooper, and Barbara Kernochan. Jenna Bollard, the hospital’s music therapist, joined the group once they arrived.
The CC Strummers don’t touch the child or allow the child to touch their personal ukuleles. All interaction is between the music therapist and the children.
The Ukulele Kids Club program includes instrument lessons, sing-alongs, live music, and music improvisation. The music therapists who assist are board-certified members of a multidisciplinary care team working to achieve specific clinical goals aligned with the children’s care plans. Jenna Bollard can be reached at (310) 267-9426 and firstname.lastname@example.org,
Kohan commented, “I find it to be an immensely gratifying experience because in most cases we’re brightening the day for kids who are going through some very traumatic circumstances. Almost always the children get a big smile on their faces, especially when we hand them their own ukulele.
“Not only does it uplift the child but we also see how it lifts the spirit of the family members who are there. I’ve had a good amount of experience in hospitals for my own ailments, so I’m able to look past what the kids are going through and focus on the greater good we’re doing.”
Cali Rose also explained, “in addition to the bimonthly stint at Mattel every other month we play for the seniors at Opica Adult Day Care Center in West Los Angeles. With the help of the able staff we get folks dancing and singing along in a very robust way. We are doing music therapy. The seniors experience rhythm, melody, harmony and the blessings of community because we all sing and dance together! Several of our members also volunteer at the Marina Del Rey Middle School.”
“As of August 2017 we have donated over $1,000 to the Ukulele Kids Club. That’s a lot of ukuleles . . . and a lot of smiles. And I must mention that we owe our lives to the Culver City Senior Center and especially our fiercest advocate there, Debbie Cahill, Senior Program Specialist, for supporting us and our work in the community.”
“We know how music heals,” Rose added. “It may not cure, but it changes something inside and that gives us a chance to ‘be’ with ourselves – and the world – in a different way. It gives us a second wind, a fresh start, new eyes to see and an open heart to feel and love.”
Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, appreciates the service the CC Strummers provide for the Culver City community.