Coordinated Philanthropic Effort Brings Sophie’s Place to Life

New Music Therapy Room Comes to Brenner Children’s

Sophies Place to Life - Engage Winter 2022A new dedicated space within Brenner Children’s will bring music as a healing therapy to young people suffering from pain, chronic illness and serious injury.

Brenner Children’s is the fifth location in the country and the only one in the Southeast to offer Sophie’s Place, a music therapy room named in honor of Sophie Rose Barton, a young singer-songwriter and musician who served as a volunteer at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. When Sophie passed away unexpectedly at the age of 17, her parents wanted to create a place that celebrated Sophie’s love for music and her desire to help others. Sophie’s Place was born to carry on her legacy.

Sophie’s Place was made possible through a network of friends that stretches from High Point, N.C., to Salt Lake City.

It includes:

  • Sophie’s parents, Kent and Anne-Marie Barton
  • The Forever Young Foundation, founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young
  • Jason and Jeff Harris, brothers and owners of Furnitureland South in High Point
  • A legion of donors across North Carolina who believed in the importance of creating this space at Brenner Children’s
“We were thrilled to help make this a reality here at Brenner Children’s,” said Jason Harris of Furnitureland South. “This room is absolutely spectacular. We have a heart for Brenner Children’s, and we’re fortunate as a business to be able to give.”

Sophie's Place Grand Opening


The space welcomes patients as they enter, and they can strum on a guitar or play drums that are easily available at arm’s reach along the walls. The inviting atmosphere includes comfortable couches and a carpeted floor. The space also includes a music lab where patients can record and edit their own music as well as a stage where professional musicians can perform and bring their music to the children. A music therapist can assist children to experience music in the ways most comfortable for them.

Alisa Starbuck, DNP, president of Brenner Children’s, calls Sophie’s Place a significant addition to the Brenner Children’s experience.

“We are very grateful to our generous donors and our community who have made this project possible and available to all children who are hospitalized at Brenner Children’s,” Starbuck says. “Having Sophie’s Place in Brenner will provide an environment that will help children manage their stress, express their feelings and promote healing.”

Sophies Place Opening - Engage Winter 2022 Sophies Place Guitars - Engage Winter 2022

ABOVE: The opening of Sophie's Place in Brenner Children's Hospital. LEFT: Sophie’s parents, Kent and Anne-Marie Barton.