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Imagine Dragons Singer Brings Smiles At Sutter Children's Center

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Dan Reynolds, of pop/rock band Imagine Dragons, teaches patients at Sutter Children’s Center to drum and strum to radio hits. The visit was part of the hospital’s ongoing music therapy program for sick kids.

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Patients at Sutter Children’s Center in Sacramento got a surprise musical visit Wednesday from Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the popular rock band Imagine Dragons.
Reynolds made a pit stop at the hospital while in town for a show at the Golden 1 Center. He’s a friend of former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who helped launch the hospital’s music therapy space in 2016 with his wife Barb.
The brightly lit orange-and-yellow room is called Sophie’s Place, named after a friend of the Youngs who died of a heart condition at age 17. About 20 children gathered there Wednesday, many of them hooked up to IVs or in portable hospital beds.
Reynolds led the patients in sing-alongs to the band’s top hits, including “Radioactive” and “It’s Time.” With help from parents and music therapy staff, the children played drums, tambourines and egg shakers as Reynolds strummed a guitar.
“Sophie’s place is a place where kids can leave the medical environment and come into this comfortable space and explore music,” says Amy Medovoy, child life coordinator for the hospital. “It just provides this incredible healing space full of music.”
Sutter Children’s Center’s music therapy program also involves sending music therapists into children’s hospital rooms for individual therapy. Some practice songwriting, others learn to play instruments, and others simply listen.
Sophie’s Place is the hospital’s first dedicated music performance and recording room. There are two other versions of  “Sophie’s Place,” also funded by the Youngs, in Utah and Arizona.

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