Meet Josh Willcutts, Our Featured Volunteer from Nashville!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? I volunteer at hospitals all over Nashville!
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? I have been volunteering for about one year
Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Musician
What is your favorite song to play for patients? I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Have you ever been part of an impromptu jam session with patients or family in a hospital room? I’ve played for families but never with them. I have had a number of patients sing along to the songs. That’s always fun!
Do you perform anywhere else besides with MOC? Yes, I perform at various bars around town and sometimes for colleges and house shows.
What is your occupation outside of MOC? I’m a bartender at Belcourt Taps in Hillsboro Village
Do you have any hidden talents? I’m ashamed to admit, I’m actually a pretty skilled button accordion player lol, I usually keep it hidden in the closet though.
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? I moved to Nashville almost 5 years ago to pursue a career as an artist. I had been working in a warehouse for almost seven years, writing songs lyrics on the back of invoices, dreaming about making a living as a writer and performer. It took a “God moment” and a tragedy to get my foot out the door. A few years after moving to Nashville, I heard about MOC from a friend. I was looking for a way to give back with my music and it sounded like the perfect opportunity. I signed up online and saw the year long waiting list. My heart sunk, but I decided to go through with the application anyway. Less then a week later I received a call from Torianne, one of the heads of MOC. She asked me some questions to make sure I wasn’t a criminal, and before I knew it, I was onboard with the team. MOC has been, by far, the best outlet for my music. I always leave inspired and I’m convinced that I receive more from each patient in our short interaction then I give.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? I’ve done other volunteer work in the past, but I’ve stayed the most consistent with MOC. There’s something incredibly rewarding about sharing a song with someone in pain whether it be physical or mental. Music has healing powers and MOC recognizes and utilized those powers. I get to connect with patients on such a personal level. I’ve never worked with another outreach that brings me so close to the people I’m trying to help.
Has your life changed because of your experience with Musicians On Call? MOC has allowed me to use my gift in a positive way. I love playing shows, but there’s something special about playing for just one person who’s in pain. Almost every week I walk out of hospital somewhere in Nashville with a smile on my face because I was able to put one on someone. I can’t say it enough, I receive more from those patients then I give
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? Earlier this year I played a song I wrote called “ Love Is A Real Good Thing” for a patient at the vanderbilt hospital. It was obvious this patient had a very loving family so the song seemed appropriate. There must have been close to 15 people in the room. I remember kicking myself for starting it in the wrong key, but the music did it’s job and covered up my silly mistake. A couple family members started tearing up. It was beautiful. I felt so connected to everyone. I wanted to give them all a hug, but that’s not really protocol in hospitals. About a month later I received an email from one of the family members asking for a copy of the song to send to her family for Christmas. She had found me on some website and was able to track down my email address. This made my year. With the help of a friend I was able to throw together an acoustic recording of the song and get it to her just in time for Christmas. I’ve had several specials moments like this one, thanks to MOC, and I look forward to having many more. Music heals!