One undeniable truth about music, is that the simplest melody or lyric has the power to conjure up a flood of memories and emotions. Nowhere is this more evident, than in an intimate hospital room, where the charity organization Sing for Hope reaches out to patients through music.
Five volunteer performers met in a NYC hospital for the first time last night, to visit patients, room to room, and provide a bedside song for them. This was my third time and I knew to expect many smiles, stories, and maybe even a few tears.
Some musicians are brave enough to perform a song acapella. I'm not one of them. Neither am I a great guitarist, but I bring it anyway. It's no piano, but at least it's something to hide behind. I have a few songs I do on guitar, and it seems to be enough of a selection to accommodate what the patient might want to hear.
We entered an older woman's room. She was lying in her bed with who appeared to be her daughter standing next to her. Both were in great spirits and very welcoming of the traveling troupe that had just invaded her tiny room. I don't know why, but I thought they might like to hear the song, "Edelweiss." When I asked them if that would be okay, both nodded an exuberant yes.
The daughter squealed with delight. "I LOVE that song! My daughter's name is Liesel! My password to everything is Edelweiss!"
I couldn't stop smiling as I played for the 2 grateful ladies, and my smile got even wider when they both joined in. I'm no Julie Andrews, but we were all beaming at the sound of music and the joy it brings.
Other hospital visits: