March 1, 2024

Lepet It Bistrot

Caring for Life

For the love of music | Health Beat

4 min read

Name that Tune is a game that’s well known to kiddos at Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

The kids come together regularly for the game, which is broadcast live from Blue Glass Studio to televisions in patient rooms throughout the children’s hospital. Music therapists host the game and sing tunes while jamming on the guitar, with patients calling in from their rooms with their best guess.

But the show Thursday was a little different, thanks to a special guest.

Chelsea Cutler, a 25-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer from Connecticut, visited the children’s hospital prior to her show in Grand Rapids. She wanted to take time to meet with kids and share some smiles.

Pediatric music therapist Katie Rushlow sang a few lyrics as she strummed a guitar, giving the kids a chance to guess the song: “I am brave. I am bruised. This is who I am meant to be.”

And the phone rang, quicker than expected.

“Caller, what’s your guess?” Rushlow asked.

A kiddo in the infusion clinic knew the answer right away: “This is me.”

Callers also had the chance to ask Cutler questions about her career in music.

Her favorite song: “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” by Coldplay.

“How many songs do you have, Chelsea?” one caller asked.

“That requires more math than I am able to do,” she joked. “Maybe 50 or 60. A lot of songs. There are a lot that no one has heard yet, too.”

“Where’s your favorite place to perform?” another caller asked.

“I’d have to say my hometown, New York City,” she said. “I like to see my family and make them proud. And the energy is great.”

And the next question was a good one, as it related to many things in life: “Do you still feel nervous when you perform in front of a crowd? And if so, how do you cope?” the caller asked.

Cutler said every time she does something new, or any time the bar is raised, she can get nervous.

“Just remember, you get nervous when you care,” she said. “And when you care, you succeed.”

Great advice to follow for sure.

Cutler has been writing music since high school and credits her love of music to her parents.

“My parents made me take piano lessons and I have loved music ever since,” she said.

Hospital teacher Sarah Smith, with the Dick and Linda Antonini Hospital School Program, wanted to know what gives her inspiration to write new music.

“You never know what you’re going to come across or see,” Cutler said. “One time I was in Malibu and drove past a hotel called Hotel June. I went home and wrote a song about it.”

And advice for aspiring artists?

“Be your authentic self,” she said. “Truly there are so many people in the world. They want you for everything that you are. And channel it into your music.”

Cutler wrapped up her time in the studio and then went up to the ninth floor to visit a few fans in their hospital rooms.

She met with Sophia Hinkley, 8, who was playing Halloween games and planning her costume. Cutler brought in an autographed poster and took time to chat, then headed off to prepare for her concert that night.

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