Let’s Celebrate: The Shadowboxers Support Music Therapy

Patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital were recently visited by The Shadowboxers, now on tour with Justin Timberlake! The band played their music for patients, staff, and families, which perfectly supplemented the music therapy many patients receive.

The Shadowboxers’ Adam Hoffman, Matt Lipkins and Scott Tyler visited patients’ rooms and nursing stations, and were greeted with gratitude, smiles and laughter.

“One of the best parts of our job is getting to do things like we did today,” Tyler said. “It’s really gratifying for us to come to the hospital and play for the kids.”

Our music therapist, Jenna Bollard, coordinated the visit. She spearheads the UCLA Music Therapy Program and works throughout the hospital providing music therapy to combat pain, anxiety, and provide emotional support to patients and families.

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The Shadowboxers with 8-year-old patient Jamari. (Photo credit: UCLA Health)

“In our music therapy program, we do a lot of work bedside with patients that focuses on symptom management and provides an outlet for emotional expression,” said Jenna Bollard, manager of the Peterson Family Foundation Music Therapy Program at the hospital. “What’s really special is when we have amazing visitors from the community, like The Shadowboxers, who bring so much life and joy to our patients here.”

Currently on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Man of the Woods Tour,’ the Shadowboxers are used to playing packed arenas and stadium venues. Sharing their music in a hospital room with a child and their family was a new experience for the band.

“It’s one thing to be playing in front of a crowd, and it’s a whole other thing to sit in front of one person and make a direct impact with them,” Lipkins said. “The purpose of writing songs is to spread joy,” Hoffman said. “That’s the whole reason why we do this.”

Special visits like this one are the icing on the cake for our UCLA Music Therapy Program. Our music therapist and music therapy interns make a profound difference in the lives of the children they serve. Being located in Los Angeles allows for a direct connection with the music industry and brings artists like the Shadowboxers to the hospital.

Help us maintain and grow this amazing program! Donations go directly to program costs, helping us hire and retain top notch music therapists to work in our hospitals.