If you have a guitar that’s collecting dust in the corner of your house, you now have a way to pick it back up again and put it to use in a very meaningful way.
A nonprofit organization called Musicians On Call recruits volunteer instrumentalists to play music for sick patients in 80 different hospitals across the United States.
For the last 20 years, artists have serenaded over half a million patients who were in need of a smile. In addition to employing volunteers, the nonprofit has also partnered with dozens of celebrity musicians for hospital concerts. Artists such as Nick Jonas, Pharrell Williams, and Keith Urban have all participated in the program and helped hospital patients to heal just by using their guitars.
Kelly Clarkson, who also participated in the program, said: “Being involved with Musicians On Call has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”
“It is healing for us all and I can’t wait to do it again!” she added.
The music isn’t just beneficial for the mental health of patients, either – it’s also good for their physical health. Studies show that listening and playing along to music can alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, dementia, and stress. As a result of this, patients who undergo music therapy are shown to experience lower blood pressure, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Pediatric patients who experienced musical intervention were also less distressed by pain.
“In the beginning, we were knocking on doors, saying, ‘Hey, this is valuable. This is important,’” Pete Griffin, who is the president of Musicians On Call, told CBS News. “And then what we’ve seen over the past 20 years is that the science has really caught up to what we’re doing. And now, the hospitals are saying this is actually part of the healing process. This isn’t something that’s just a nice thing to do, but this is actually helping our patients.”
If you would like to donate to the organization or volunteer as a musician or program facilitator in the hospitals, you can check out the Musicians On Call website for more information.
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If Music Be The Food Of Love, Share This Inspiring Story With Your Friends – Photo by Musicians On Call