Meet Tom Smith, Our Featured Volunteer from Boston!

25 Feb

Meet Tom Smith, Our Featured Volunteer from Boston!

Get to know our volunteers!

Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center

How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 6 months

Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Musician

What is your favorite song to play for patients? Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Have you been a part of an impromptu jam session? Some great sing-a-longs but never a jam session.

Do you perform anywhere else besides MOC? Yes. I perform throughout New England – mostly at coffeehouses, church basements, libraries, festivals, café s.

What is your occupation outside of MOC? I am a retired technology professional.

Do you have any hidden talents? I can play the harmonica through my ear! (a magician never discloses how he does his tricks)

What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? I love self-made music. For me it is at least as much about community building as it is about the music. Music is big part of the fabric of my childhood, my parenthood, my profession, and now my retirement. MOC is a natural outlet for me to apply that music to help sick children and their families… and in return, they give back to me far more than I give to them.

What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? MOC is very well organized. The support they give musicians makes it very easy to say “yes” when opportunities to volunteer come up.

Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? Although I have been very active in retirement with music and hobbies, I was feeling a little self-centered and without meaningful purpose outside of my own personal interests. MOC came along at the perfect time to give me an outlet to use my talents to help others.

What is your favorite #MOCmoment? There are so many. But to just pick one, it may be the time I sang for an Arabic child and his family. They spoke no English at all, and I wondered if they were confused by the distinctly old-fashioned folksongs I was singing. But after each one, the child gestured for more. As we were about to leave, they asked me to stay while the child entered some Arabic letters into his iPad. Then he pressed the “translate” button to display “I want to learn how to play guitar.”

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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