If you’ve ever set foot inside a hospital, you know the sounds as soon as you hear them — the beeps, the whirs, the constant overhead pages — stress-inducing, anxiety-producing. And then, there’s the waiting — for tests, for treatments, for answers.
But listen a little closer, and through the halls of University Hospitals Parma, you’ll hear the soft, melodic strum of a guitar.
Danny Rose is a music therapist at University Hospitals — they boast one of the largest music therapy programs in the entire nation, because music has healing properties.
“If I can walk into a room, brightens someone’s day, help them with whatever they’re going through, that’s what I wanted to do,” Danny said.
We all have songs that take us back — to a moment in time or to a memory we want to hold on to.
For most patients, Danny sees them once, maybe twice — a bright spot in their bad day.
Then, there’s Steve Bowles. He was diagnosed with Gitelman’s syndrome 12 years ago. It means his body doesn’t produce the magnesium and potassium it needs.
“And there’s no cure for it,” Steve said.
That means he has to be here in a small, windowless hospital room three times a week, four to eight hours at a time, for the rest of his life. If he doesn’t, his heart would stop beating.
“But I don’t let it get me down. I make the best of it,” Steve said.
Nearly a dozen years down, sitting in silence and seclusion, quietly passing the time — until Danny came along.
“Me and Danny just got a bond,” Steve explained.
Music began the bond; Danny’s background as a composer combined with Steve’s 30 years as a DJ solidified it.
“Next thing you know, we making beats,” Steve said. “He says, ‘While we’re making beats, why not make some lyrics?'”
“Just the way Steve talks is lyrical in itself,” Danny said.
One song became two, two became three, and the music kept flowing, so they set a goal for ten.
Steve had a stroke in 2020; he lost feeling in his fingertips and hands.
“I really am very grateful for Danny, very grateful,” Steve’s wife Nicole said.
Using an iPad and GarageBand to tap out beats helped Steve get some of that sensation back.
“So yeah, I am in love with Danny,” Nicole said, laughing.
Ten songs, a full album, and the band was born.
“The name of the band is called DAS. Stands for Danny and Steve. We couldn’t call it Steve and Danny because we didn’t want to name it ‘SAD,'” Steve said, laughing.
Because here, there’s not a moment to be sad. Steve’s laugh and lyrics are infectious. The beats, get your body moving.
It’s clear — music can be medicine, too.