As a Certified Music Practitioner, I rarely volunteer my professional services. I spent a lot of time and money completing my training to work as a Music Practitioner. It’s not that I don’t care about serving others, because I do. But being a Music Practitioner is my profession. It is how I help support my family.
When people see me in healthcare facilities with my guitar, they often assume that I am a volunteer and ask if I can play for them for free. I often respond with a question, “How many of your nurses, doctors or staff members provide their services for free?” Most of the time, they respond, “Ah, I see your point.”
But today, after finishing a 40-minute Live Therapeutic Music session with a patient, I noticed a group of five elderly women sitting outside the room where I had been working. One of the women asked, “You gonna’ play us some music?” I explained that I had other patients to see and that I was there to work with a specific patient.
As I walked down the hall, I heard that still, small voice whisper, “What’s your hurry? You have time to play for these women.” So I turned around and said, “You know, I have time to play just one song.” The women squealed with delight, while one sat motionless, seemingly unaware of my presence.
I began with Hank Williams Sr.’s, “Hey, Good Lookin”. Before long, four of the women were singing along. I knew then that they were not going to be satisfied with just one song. I played a few more old tunes when one of the ladies asked, “Can you play any hymns?”
As I played “How Great Thou Art”, the unresponsive lady began to sing. As I played more hymns, all the ladies sang and seemed so happy to sing songs they had known all of their lives. Their faces were simply radiant!
While I didn’t conduct a Live Therapeutic Music session for these women, the music was still therapeutic for them. Because I had the taken time to sit with them, to offer myself and be part of their day and be with them was a gift that was every bit as therapeutic as my music was for the patient to whom I had been referred.
You don’t need to be a musician to bless someone. We only need to share our time and ourselves with those around us. I pray I never become too busy to miss the opportunity to serve the less fortunate in my community. All of us have gifts and talents. I am blessed beyond measure to share my gifts with those who are often overlooked, by those who race about in their “hurry up, gotta get it done lives”.
I encourage us all to slow down and take time to notice those around us who are struggling with life-challenges that may one day affect us as well. Until then, be blessed and look for ways to be a blessing to others.