I am searching in my life for ways to give back for the privilege of being able to do a job I so completely love. Being a children’s musician and performer means the world to me. This is what I get to do everyday though it is not an easy job. I struggle daily with how to grow the company and get the word out so I can continue to provide my brand of party entertainment to more and more families in New Jersey and possibly to New York and Philadelphia in the near future. So why am I telling you this in the context of giving back? Well, in order for me to GET this gift of doing what I love, I feel like it is equally important to find the ways to GIVE back. And when I do, I get some very unexpected rewards.
When starting to make my CD, Roller Coaster Ride, I ran a crowd funding campaign asking for help. Making music costs big money! I reached out to friends, family, and fans to ask them to pre-purchase their copy or to pay to have their children sing on the CD with me. I also promised that if I made the campaign goal, I would sing for children’s hospitals in order to give back. I never knew that you had to do more than just volunteer! I had to sign release forms and go through an interview process before being allowed to come and play for free! I get it though. You can’t just walk in off the street and be allowed to be near the children under their care. I think that is a very good thing. But lucky for me, they okay’d my appearance at Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Now I am completely HOOKED! I love it! Watching those little children light up with the music and get up to dance was worth all the money I invested in producing music! I am giving back by performing for children who could use a lift in their spirit. I wish all children health and healing and love. I am also so grateful for the lift in my spirit that performing for them actually gave me!
Twice now, Miss Dylan has brought her musical styling to our patients, and both visits were wonderful experiences. Dylan’s energy and smile are contagious, and she very easily engaged large groups of patients and their families with singing, dancing, and musical games. The kids, who ranged in age from toddler to school age, very easily connected with her activities, as she encourages complete participation. It wasn’t long before every kid had an instrument and was out of his or her chair! Outside of the group setting, Dylan was able to bring her music and activities to several patients at the bedside.
In a one-on-one setting, she really tailored her activities to the specific child; however, with her music echoing through the hallways of the unit, kids who hadn’t yet participated emerged from the rooms and gravitated to her, and she seamlessly incorporated them into the performance. In short, Dylan is engaging, talented, and extremely dynamic. Our kids raved for her performance, and one little toddler even shed a few tears upon her departure! She is a delight to work with and we look forward to having her back.
John Sladewski, CCLS
Child Life Specialist
Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital
At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital