Thursday, March 24, 2011

Musicians on Call - Bringing the Healing Power of Music to Those Who Need it Most

Music does many things. It soothes the soul, It can stir memories of special times, and can be therapeutic to the mind and body. I feel very strongly about the therapeutic aspects of listening to music, that is why I want to bring to your attention a great organization that is using music to make a positive impact on people's lives.

Since 1999, Musicians On Call has brought live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. It started when the founder, Kenli Mattus, performed a concert at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's rec room. The event was magical to the patients well enough to leave their hospital beds and attend.

But what happened next was even more magical. The nurses saw the reactions of the patients who could attend, and were saddened that not everyone was well enough to hear the wonderful music being played. It was clear to the nurses and Kenli that the patients who needed the music the most were too sick to leave their beds and join in. So in an inspired moment, Kenli brought the concert to them.

He went room to room, and played at the bedsides of those who had missed the concert. What happened in the rec room happened on an even deeper and more intimate level.

Hence the birth of Musicians On Call.

Today, Musicians On Call has a nationwide network of volunteer artists who deliver music in person to patients undergoing treatment or too sick to leave their beds.

"It is a program that inspires smiles and thank yous, sing-a-longs and tears. And beyond much-appreciated moments of entertainment, these one-on-one interactions between musician and patient have the powerful effect of resurrecting the emotions of joy and happiness that often fade away in healthcare facilities."

I hope all who read this can find a way to support Musicians On Call. Blog about it, volunteer, donate, whatever. It's a fantastic cause that I know we as music lovers can fully appreciate the value of.

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