From Virtual Beginnings to Bedside Moments

How MOC volunteers Lisa Rochette and Jeff Scornavacca have bonded over the healing power of music

Musicians On Call’s programs create meaningful connections between volunteers and patients, families and caregivers through music. Sometimes, those same meaningful connections are made between volunteers as well.

Lisa Rochette, a Volunteer Guide based in New York, and Jeff Scornavacca, a Volunteer Musician based in Boston, were first paired together for a MOC Virtual in 2021. As they prepared for each virtual program, their conversations and playful banter created an instant rapport that translated well into the virtual setting. From their communication style and sense of humor to how they relate to others, Lisa and Jeff’s similarities drove the joy they brought to patients during their virtual programs. 

A chance scheduling turned into coordinating schedules and sharing dates with each other in order to continue volunteering together virtually. After having done more than a dozen virtual visits together, Lisa and Jeff did their first in-person program together in 2023 when MOC Bedside returned to Mount Sinai Morningside in NYC.

“The rapport that we had virtually translated immediately to in person. There wasn’t a learning curve we needed to feel out, it was a very easy transition and a lot of excitement,” said Lisa. Jeff added, “I kind of felt like we had known each other forever.”

The blending of Lisa’s calming presence and Jeff’s easygoing attitude makes for an enjoyable volunteering experience for everyone. And the duo has no plans of slowing down. They try to keep the fun going by signing up for bedside shifts together on a monthly basis. “The two of us working together just sort of vibrated at a higher frequency somehow,” said Jeff. “So it was really fun to get together and play and we’ve been trying to get one date a month on the calendar to do live and continue on virtual too.”

As more MOC Beside and Virtual volunteer opportunities open up nationwide, Lisa and Jeff enthusiastically share how incredibly transformative the experience is for both the volunteers and the people they serve.

The great thing about going back to the bedside is the connection you’re able to make with people. Just seeing them enjoy it, especially if you can dial up a tune that means something to them, that’s really amazing and really special. If I could bottle it up and share it with people, we’d have a million volunteers signing up! It’s so incredibly powerful. Jeff Scornavacca

Lisa agrees that serving as a MOC volunteer is a fantastic way to share love in the world and be a part of something greater than yourself. “Patients in the hospital have so little say in what happens to them sometimes, and this is a way to give a voice to the patients,” she says. “And give them a distraction that they very much need. You can’t help but be touched [by it] and have it feel rewarding.”

Learn more about how to become a Volunteer Guide or Volunteer Musician in your community.

 

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