Southern California-based organization Music to Heal thinks it can. MTH strives to harness the healing powers of music to give hospital patients a little musical cheer every day through its various programs, including musical therapy and free instrument rental. Staying in a hospital for an extended period of time can be a drag, but the folks at Music to Heal try to make it more enjoyable.
The organization provides free music lessons to hospital patients, among other therapy methods. The lessons are among Music to Heal’s most popular programs. The volunteer-led lessons are usually taught by “young healers” from the Orange County High School of the Arts, but are sometimes taught by local area musicians and music educators. These volunteers visit patients and teach them how to play various instruments, using the specialized instruments that MTH provide.
These instruments are “noiseless” –they feel and play just like regular guitars, drums, etc, but will not disturb any other patients or hospital staff members. These noiseless instruments are provided by Music to Heal free of charge and help brighten the spirits of the patients, particularly young children battling chronic illnesses. These instruments also make up the Jam Stations, mobile music stations containing a guitar, bass, keyboard, electronic drum kit, mic, amps, and a headphone mixer. Jam Stations are provided by MTH with the help of the volunteers, who bring them bedside to patients for quiet but lively in-house jam sessions.
In addition to the music lessons, MTH’s iHeal program provides long-term hospital patients iPods for personal use. Patients can pick and choose what to listen to while undergoing treatment, which helps make being there for a long period of time much more tolerable.
Music to Heal’s various musical therapy programs are currently active in hospitals across the Orange County area and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The staff and founders of MTH, including principal founder and UC Irvine School of Medicine student Matthew Fradkin, created the company in order to offer creative musical therapy for the enjoyment of hospital patients with the hopes that such therapy can encourage emotional healing as well as provide something fun and positive to do with their time.
Thanks to Music to Heal, being in a hospital doesn’t always have to be dull and boring. The company tries to lift the spirits of patients of all ages and backgrounds by harnessing the power of music. It’s a great organization, and if you are inclined to support their cause, feel free to make a donation to further their good-natured efforts.
More information at: the Music to Heal website.