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Music in hospital

I've been a student for four years now. It's been four years of constant work, never-ending to-do lists, things I should do, want to do or try to do. In other words; it's been very busy.

Most of the times, being busy is a choice, and comes as a result of dreams and goals I wish to achieve. However, there's one specific aspect I find challenging when it comes to this; choosing HOW to be busy. I can be busy doing my own things, walking in circles in my room, and spending every minute on my own work and wellbeing...or I can be busy making time for other's wellbeing and helping others reach their goals. The second one instantly sounds like the most political correct way of living..yet I find it quite hard. Sacrificing "my time" for others seem to become an effort when I have so much to do that I can't keep my head straight. It's a paradox, cause I know, and I'm sure you do too, that spending time on others are satisfying to a much greater amount, then spending time on our own to-does.

For a while, in Boston, I did a good job traveling around town to visit senior homes and hospitals to perform. I googled the place, called up the director and asked if I could come. To this day, I can still clearly remember the faces of those who sang along to Norwegian wood with their old rusty voices, the eyes who cried during Danny Boy, and those who came over and thanked me for the experience. Despite the effort it took to leave my homework behind and fight myself through the morning rush and narrow streets of Boston, these kind turn out to be the easiest I can do. I can make people cry with a simple 3chord song I had forgotten to practice, or with a Norwegian tune which I make up on the spot(since no-one spoke Norwegian there). OR just walk in and smile and make a stupid joke with my bad Norwegian accent. It takes sooo little, and I find it very fascinating. Yet, I've found myself doing less and less of this, as my studies has advanced.

Finally, last December I got a chance to visit a hospital here in Valencia. This was a little different, as it was my first hospital visit in this country, and my spanish is very limiter. I prepared a 15 minute set of music, and wandered from department to department for about 2 hours. The audience wasn't necessarily paying attention, and I didn't get a chance to talk to them. I just walked in, got introduced, and played my 4 three chords songs...then headed to next place. However, I did observe the smiles on peoples faces, a silent little tear, I calmed a children's waiting room, and(my favorite) I made a kid tell his dad that he wants to learn guitar.

I do believe that as a musician, this is the least I can do. Give of my time, through music.. Well, this is what music is for, ay? I love singing music that makes my heart go "yes". Hopefully, one day I'll be on a big stage and make thousands of people's heart go "yes". But along the way, if I can make the heart of someone who's lying in their hospitable bed, go "yes"; then I should....Play music for those who don't ask for it, cause they might be the ones who needs it!


Eli G.

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