Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Contributor: Alyse Smith
Follow Alyse on Twitter at @ASmith1300

Musicians On Call is a foundation that brings music to those who can’t venture to it themselves. Volunteers go to hospitals and play hospital-wide shows or bedside shows, as well as give musicians the opportunity to record their own music when they physically can’t get to a studio or anywhere to record music. We all know music heals, these magnanimous people volunteer their time and craft to make sure that it does. Founded in 1999 by Michael Solomon and Vivek J. Tiwery, Musicians On Call came to life when the Kristen Carr Fund sponsored a concert at the well-known Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York. Upon seeing how positively the live music affected the patients there and the therapeutic powers of music they decided this should happen more often. A nurse told them there were patients that couldn’t leave their beds to make it to the show, so the artist performing Kenli Mattus went and gave each patient their own bedside concert. Thus, Musicians On Call was born. Consistently, music has shown remarkable healing capabilities for the immune system, the mind and everything imaginable.

Not only that, when so much of your life is consumed by pain, treatments and the monotonous sterility of hospitals, the opportunity to have a different experience and a positive social experience on top of that does wonders for morale. Just to forget about the pain for an hour or two is a miraculous, healing event on its own. To have a special event to look forward to, when there’s chemo happening or when the blood draws or physical therapy are happening, to think of that instead is a salve on its own. Concerts in any form are going to be good for the soul, but to miss them and to miss so much of your life because you are constrained to a hospital bed or unable to roam and explore the way you want to would be an extraordinarily painful longing. That there is someone willing to eliminate all of that and bring at least this experience to you, where for however long you don’t have to worry about how to navigate this or how an ailment fits into this, you just have to sit there and let the music and euphoria wash over you is an astonishing high. There for a minute there wasn’t anything wrong. There wasn’t cancer, there wasn’t depression, there wasn’t illness, there was simply the purity of the music soothing others as it has always meant to. There was compassion, there was happiness, there was a common bond. The highs and the memories of the experience have lasting effects and provided a positive boost long after the show was over.

Founded in New York and most prevalent in New York and Nashville, they also have branches in Philadelphia, Delaware, New Jersey, Murfreesboro, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Washington D.C., Bethesda, Baltimore, Arlington, Los Angeles, Duarte (CA), and Santa Monica. Some of our favorite illustrious country singers and songwriters that have volunteered would be Craig Morgan, Joey & Rory, Mark Wills, Chris Young, Chuck Wicks, Darius Rucker, just to name a few. Country music is very well-represented here, Lady Antebellum, Brantley Gilbert, Amos Lee and more have also been involved. If not a performer, you can donate on their website or volunteer to be a guide. You can also bid on a variety of cool items or experiences and have your money benefit them that way. There’s autographed guitars and all sorts of things. Next time you have a spare moment or funds that need a place to go, please consider donating it to this more than worthy and wonderful cause. 

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