When you’re a hospital patient, the mood isn’t really joyful. You’re laying in a bed that’s not yours, you’re miserable because you’re not feeling well and it seems almost nothing can make you feel better; I know this from experience. Well, the foundation Musicians on Call plan to change that feeling by bringing one of life’s greatest joys to patients: music.
In 1999 Michael Solomon and Vivek Tiwary had a concert for patients in a Manhattan hospital; that was the day Musicians on Call was born. In the last 15 years, the organization had seen volunteer musicians perform for over 400,000 patients, focusing on bringing entertainment to those patients confined in bed and are unable to interact with others. One of Musicians on Call’s volunteers Jeremy Bar-illan has went to hospitals and performed for children on a weekly basis.
“Music is the bridge to a moment of tranquility for patients and their families,” Bar-illan said. “There is very little in a hospital that brings peace and comfort to patients. Most of the time it comes in the form of pharmaceutical painkillers. Music creates a moment for everyone to step out of the reality of illness. After I complete a hospital program, or support a non-profit, I feel like the richest man in the world on so many levels. To me, my experience with music as a bridge — a source of healing — is priceless.”
For today’s HOPE Week activities Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren and former Yankee Bernie Williams will join the Musicians on Call volunteers and perform a musical concert for patients and their families. They will then go room-to-room to perform for patients who are unable to attend the concert.
Pete Griffin, the president of Musicians on Call shared the sentiments of Bar-illan, believing music is a universal healing process.
“Whether it’s to reduce anxiety or stress before a big game, or to elevate our moods and ease recovery while in a hospital, music is the universal language of healing,” says Griffin. “It’s an honor to work with the wonderful caregivers at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian, the New York Yankees and our amazing volunteers to deliver the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients.”