Musicians On Call and Southwest Airlines bring the joy of music to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital with Barry Zito

Through our partnership with Southwest Airlines, Musicians On Call brought smiles and the music of Former Major League Baseball Pitcher and Volunteer Musician Barry Zito to the children and families at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The partnership was formed as part of Southwest Airlines’ Medical Transportation Grant Program, which provides travel for patients to nonprofit hospitals around the country.

Musicians On Call has been bringing the healing power of music to the patients, families and caregivers at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital since 2016. To date, our volunteers have performed for more than 1,200 individuals.

“I became a Volunteer Musician to give back. Helping somebody else, even for a couple of minutes for the length of a song, seeing a smile on someone’s face that they couldn’t muster the strength to smile before we played the song. Things like that serve me so much,” said Zito.

In 2018 Musicians On Call and Southwest Airlines brought music to the bedsides of patients to their partner hospitals in San Francisco, Denver and Los Angeles. Through the Bedside Performance Program, Volunteer Musicians go room to room and play for patients, giving them the chance to enjoy the healing qualities of music without leaving their rooms.

“I think any hospital, if you’re able to bring this program you absolutely should,” said Jenny Goldhammer, Music Therapist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, “It’s a great way to bring something different, bring something unique and exciting and also just help everyone feel like they’re in a different place for a little while.”



Charles Esten, wearing a santa hat, is playing guitar bedside for a hospitalized patient. The patient is smiling, showing gratitude for this moment of music and joy

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