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Piano play-a-thon raises thousands of dollars for sick children

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Thirteen-year-old Oliver Bridghouse Glueck has performed at the play-a-thon since the first grade.

"I think it's important," he said. "The kids that are sick, they really need this."

Oliver is one of hundreds of local students who participated in an eight-hour-long piano play-a-thon on Saturday.

The annual event, hosted by Madison Area Friends of Piano, raised money for the music therapy program at American Family Children's Hospital.

Music therapy, organizers say, helps relieve some of the anxiety and stress children at the hospital endure during their time there.

"Music therapy is an opportunity for children, while they're patients at the hospital, to have a release away from their treatment," Renee Farley, owner of Farley's House of Pianos, said. "It's really beneficial for the children and their families to have this time apart from just medical treatment."

This is the play-a-thon's 28th year. As one of Madison's largest public piano performances, it brings in thousands of dollars for the children's hospital.

This year, Farley said they expect to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 over the eight hours. But for her, it's about more than just the numbers.

"It's really a wonderful way for the public to see children learning to play the piano beautifully, and they're sharing their talents and helping other children at the same time," Farley said.

And the students recognize the play-a-thon's importance to children at the hospital too.

"They need music," Oliver said. "It helps them get better, and it brightens their day."

Ester Wells


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