The HarmonyTown Chorus heard about this program via the Barbershop Harmony Society and immediately knew in Winter of 2021 that this was something we needed to do. We prepare songs appropriate for children and simply sing to them to bring good cheer and a sense of friendship while in the hospital.
To contact HarmonyTown Chorus to start this program in your children's hospital,
please contact: Call | 734-743-1SNG (1764) and ask for Eddie Texts | 248-792-1911 Email |email@example.com
Watch a video of our friends down in Nashville, TN to see what the prgram is like.
This program is designed to be an ongoing, permanent project within our local community.
Not to mention it’s loads of fun and incredibly rewarding for many people on many levels.
First and foremost, it's great for the young patients and their parents. The last thing they expect
is for four people to walk into their hospital room and sing them a fun and
uplifting song when they are experiencing the drudgery of hospitalization.
Secondly, it can be very enjoyable for the staff at the nurse's stations when you occasionally reach
into your regular chorus repertoire to sing them a song. Finally, nothing builds camaraderie and
encourages quartet singing among your community of artists better than sharing this incredibly
fulfilling experience with other Music Medics participants.
When the Miami, Florida chapter first approached two hospitals in June 2013 with an idea that
became known as "The Miamians Music Medics," they honestly had no clue as to how to go about
it. They simply made their way to the Volunteer Office at Miami Children's Hospital. The
Volunteer Office gave them some paperwork to fill out and arranged a meeting with their Child
Life Department. The whole idea had been floating around for a while, ever since their former
Director, Gene Cokeroft, took the entire Miamians Chorus to sing at that same hospital some
years before. That concert had taken place right there in the Child Life Department's playroom.
Although there was a fair number of kids there, the general feeling was that there were many more
who could not attend because they were bedridden, and those were the kids who needed it
When it came time to go to the Child Life Department, the meeting turned out to be both very
positive and productive. Hospital staff were very helpful and excited about the idea. The
Miamians asked for about 3 months to learn a completely new children's repertoire and set their
sights on September of that year for the first performance. When the Miamians told hospital staff
they wanted to dress in medical scrubs, one of the staff members said, "Oh good, maybe we can
call you guys 'music doctors' or something like that!" The rest is Music Medics history. Since that
time, the Miamians have had Music Medics sing to nearly 2,700 children in 6 different hospitals
throughout South Florida, from Miami to West Palm Beach.
What To Expect
The vast majority of times that you walk into a child's hospital room it will be a very happy
occasion. Sometimes, there may be a skeptical look on the child's face as you blow that pitch pipe.
But as soon as they hear the harmonies, you’ll see an almost magical transformation on their
faces, as that look turns into a big smile, then applause and appreciation. Instant friendship.
You'll even bump into the occasional budding child musician or singer at the hospitals, who will
end up singing along with you.
Those are all fun visits. Nevertheless, you should be aware that there will be times when the
occasion will not be so joyous, when the music you share will serve to bring a sense of calm and
hope to the parents of a very ill child. The experience of simply walking into a Pediatric Intensive
Care Unit or an Oncology Ward can have a powerful effect. As a Music Medic, you’ll sing as
sweetly and quietly as you possibly can, looking through and beyond the situation, doing all you
can to keep yourself together through to the end of the song. There will be tears, and yes, sadly,
sometimes you will feel like you may have just sung the last song that that child may ever hear.
Luckily, those experiences are few and far between, but helpful to the parents and uplifting and
validating for you, nonetheless. Those are the visits you will carry with you forever.