Meet Amy O’Brien, our featured volunteer from New York!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at Memorial Sloan Kettering
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? 1.5 years
Are you a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician? Guide
What is your occupation outside of MOC? Brand Management
Do you have any hidden talents? Classical singing
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? When I moved to New York, I was looking for a way to combine my love for music with my love for volunteering, and I’m so glad I came across MOC. I studied music in college and, while I didn’t pursue it professionally, music will always be a big part of my life. I enjoy getting to meet such a variety of musicians with different instruments and styles. Watching them share their talents with people in such need of a bright spot in their day is both fun and incredibly rewarding.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? Everything else going on in my own life disappears when I walk into the hospital. I become completely absorbed in the experience because of the personal connections we build with each patient and family we play for. We are meeting them in their most vulnerable moments, and I am constantly blown away by how they welcome us into their lives. They often thank us and tell us what a difference we are making, and they probably don’t realize what an impact they are having on us at the same time.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? My MOC experiences have shown me that music really is a universal language. It connects all of us regardless of our age, background or beliefs, and absolutely has the power to heal. I think we could all use more of those commonalities and connections in our world right now.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? It’s hard to pick just one, but my favorite moments have been when the patient has joined in with the musician. I once watched a patient pull out his own guitar and jam along to Eric Clapton with the MOC musician. He told us it was the first time all week he had felt like himself.