“The Look” That Brought 11 Guitars to Children’s

Ken Chinn, Tara Chinn (patient), Austin Hooper, 5 (patient)

Ken and Tara Chinn pose with patient Austin Hooper, 5, and his new guitar.

Any father of a teenage daughter is likely to be familiar with “the look.”

“That look said, ‘Dad, this is something you must do,’” says Longview businessman Ken Chinn, recalling being on the receiving end of “the look” from his daughter Tara, a patient at Children’s.

The pair was at the hospital where Tara has been treated for frontal lobe epilepsy for the past seven years. Tara brought along her guitar to pass the time on this particular visit.

Ken Chinn, and his daughter Tara

Ken Chinn, and his daughter Tara

A nurse mentioned the Children’s Music Therapy Program, and soon the father and daughter, who both love music and play guitar, were talking with a music therapist. They’d just learned the Music Therapy Program had just four guitars when it happened – “the look.”

Fast forward to July 19 and the father and daughter were standing in Seacrest Studios at Children’s donating 11 brand new guitars in various sizes and colors, plus, guitar straps, picks, tuners and gift bags for patients. Some will be designated for music therapists to use as teaching instruments and some will be given to patients who might not be able to afford instruments to take home to keep.

Chinn Family Donation

Ken Chinn, a financial planner for Wells Fargo, says, “this won’t be the last you’ll see of us.” He plans to make future donations to the Music Therapy Program.

And what does this mean to the Music Therapy Program? According to music therapist Karen Norris, the gift of music is priceless, especially since the extra guitars can be “loaned” to patients to keep in their rooms.

“With teenagers, the one common language is music,” Norris says. “Giving them a tool to express themselves is a gift beyond measure.”

Younger patients seem pretty happy with the guitars, also.

Five-year-old Austin Hooper received his first guitar thanks to the Chinn family’s donation. As his name was announced as a recipient of a guitar, Austin cast aside his walker to give his new blue guitar a bear hug.

“He always wanted to play his big brother’s guitar, and it’s great that he has one of his own now,” says his mother Elecia Hooper.

Tara Chinn is glad she gave her dad “the look” that day. “I love putting a smile on someone’s face,” she says with a smile of her own.

Who is Matthew Davidson?

Matthew Davidson perfomed in Seacrest Studios at Children's DallasIn addition to bringing 11 brand new colorful guitars to Childrens, Kenneth Chinn brought up-and-coming singer/songwriter Matthew Davidson to entertain patients.

Related Posts


Sign up for the latest information from Children's



3 Responses to “The Look” That Brought 11 Guitars to Children’s

  1. Ken Chinn July 31, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    It was one of the most rewarding days of my life. I am so grateful for Children’s Medical Center ! Very special day for all my family and friends who assisted in making it a unique blessing for all the patients and the Music Therapy Program.

  2. Tara Chinn July 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for the nice things you said. We do plan on coming back. But we did not do this alone. We had such amazing people helping us. Thanks! :)

  3. Matthew Davidson July 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    It was great to be a part of this event at Children’s Medical Center. Hope your patients enjoy their guitars as much as I have enjoyed mine! Hope to visit again soon.

Leave a Reply