Meet Matthew Ireland, a Our Featured Volunteer from Boston!

23 Sep

Meet Matthew Ireland, a Our Featured Volunteer from Boston!

Get to know our volunteers!

Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at The Boston VA and Floating Hospital for Children

How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? About a year and a half

Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Musician

What is your favorite song to play for patients? “I’ll say (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay, but there are many others.”

Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room? “Yes, many times. I like the challenge of making the visit special. Like, when a little boy wanted a song about dinosaurs, so we made one up on the spot.”

Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? “Yes. I play out sometimes with friends.”

What is your occupation outside of MOC? “I’m a Creative Director for a tech firm.”

What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? “Music became a big part of my life at an early age when my father gave me his collection of 45s. But I didn’t really discover my knack for it until high school. At this point, I’ve been a musician and songwriter for over 30 years. To me, the most powerful thing about music is how it causes such a deep and visceral reaction in people. It is one of the most authentic and honest ways we connect as human beings. I’m very thankful for the musical gifts I have and truly enjoy being a source of joy and comfort to those in need. That’s why I feel MOC is a great fit for me.”

Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? “I guess I have gained a new perspective on living with- or supporting someone with an illness, and a greater appreciation for healthcare workers.”

What is your favorite #MOCmoment? “That’s a tough one because I have had many great ones. Some highlights: One night I played just about the entire “Frozen” soundtrack on the guitar while a young boy sang the songs in Spanish. On another occasion, a patient that had been an administrator at the VA hospital for a long time stated after I finished singing, “In the 30 years I’ve been a part of this hospital, I’ve never witnessed something that special.” And then there was the sweet gentleman that became our groupie for the night. He followed us around to all the rooms we visited with his IV drip in tow. I could easily go on …”

Do you want to help us deliver the healing power of music? Apply to volunteer as a guide or a musician today!

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