Meet Allison Kobasky, Our Featured Volunteer from Miami!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, South Miami Hospital and Holtz Children’s Hospital
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 7 months
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Musician
What is your favorite song to play for patients? “Somewhere Over The Rainbow – easy favorite, because I can make the song sound a bit more fun with a pop flare for the kiddos and then incorporate more of a jazz tone when I sing it for adults.”
Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room? “A few of the patients I’ve met have a history in music, so many of them like to join in and sing with me – this always touches my heart. The ones that can’t sing tend to join me for fun little dance breaks whenever there’s an interlude in a song I’m playing.”
Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? “Just in the shower and car!”
What is your occupation outside of MOC? “I own a travel planning company – we specialize in planning luxury honeymoons“
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? ”
My musical career began back in the 1st grade talent show, where I surprised the audience with an adorable rendition of Madonna’s “You’ll See”; totally age appropriate, I know. From there, music became an integral part of my life – I chased down karaoke competitions and took part in as many community theater programs as I could. Fast forward to high school, when I spent every single Saturday volunteering at an assisted living facility called Aston Gardens, specifically in their Alzheimer’s unit. Week after week, I’d sing old songs in hopes of triggering memories for these special people – long story short, I had to skip a week because I was sick and when I returned to the unit the following week, one of the Alzheimer’s patients approached me with concern: “Where were you!? You’re the singer, and you haven’t been here.” Shocked, I absolutely couldn’t believe that this woman – who often couldn’t remember her own name – remembered me. This was such a special and life-changing moment, realizing the extreme power that music has on the heart and on the brain. From there, I got my Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Music at Tulane University and went on to teach voice and piano lessons for a few years before starting my travel business – my other passion.”
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? “Volunteering with MOC is such an immeasurable blessing, and it has become one of the best parts of my life. Each time I go into a hospital room, I get to be a source of happiness, inspiration, positivity or even a pillar of support for someone else. Above and beyond the personal satisfaction that each experience gives me, it has literally changed the core of who I am – on particularly difficult days, I remember the healing power of music that MOC has instilled in me. I am reminded to practice gratitude, to be more understanding, kind, compassionate and thoughtful at all times. Being able to consistently practice and reinforce these characteristics through my volunteer work with MOC has made me a better person, and I feel so lucky to be part of such an incredible organization.“
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? “The last time I volunteered was at South Miami Hospital. Torianne, Simone and I entered the room of a sweet older man on the oncology floor. I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis, and this man just gushed and smiled at me the entire time. When the song was over, he ushered me closer to him, took my hand and gave it a kiss. He told me that the song was exactly what he needed that day, and that I must have been an angel. While this totally melted my heart and I was glad to have brightened his day, little did he realize that he was actually exactly what I needed that day, too. I’ll never forget that experience, as music connected us all in such a special way.“