Restoring the Feeling of Joy through Music - Hampton VA Medical Center
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Hampton VA Medical Center


Restoring the Feeling of Joy through Music

Stephen Ford, Veteran presented a new guitar after graduating from the Guitar for Vets program.

Stephen Ford proudly displays his new guitar that he received after graduating from the Guitar for Vets program.

By Steven Riddick
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Music is often used as a therapy to relieve conditions related to stress or disabilities. Guitars for Vets, a nonprofit organization, generously brings the healing power of music to the hands of heroes.

“Playing music is very peaceful and has a calming effect on me ~ learning to play was a little difficult but it gets easier with practice,” said Stephen Ford.

An Army Veteran, Ford separated from the military in 1971.  Volunteer Instructor Kyle Coldren from Guitar for Vets presented Ford with a new guitar on Tuesday afternoon.

According to, Guitars for Vets provides six free private lessons and a new acoustic guitar to military Veterans at VA medical and community-based Vet centers.  The private lessons are taught by volunteer instructors and are then followed by group sessions that provide a forum for the Veterans to talk and play music with like-minded individuals, many of whom have had the same experiences, emotions and traumas.

The music sessions provide a communal atmosphere. This has proven to be a catalyst that helps the Veterans continue on their road to recovery and well being.

 “I am delighted to be able to help Veterans through music,” said Coldren.
Coldren explained that the program at the Hampton VA Medical Center lasts 10 weeks.  Veterans who participate learn how to play the guitar ~ at the end of the program, the Vet receives a brand new guitar of their very own.

Guitar for Vets primary focus is using the healing power of music to help Veterans. 


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