Supporter Spotlight: Jocelyn

We asked longtime supporter of MOC, Jocelyn, to join us for a conversation about the healing power of music. This is her story!

How did you find out about Musicians On Call?
I’d originally heard about Musicians On Call in 2002 because a musician I listened to and respected was involved with the organization. That made me check out MOC’s work, and when I was later searching for a summer internship between college and graduate school, I saw that there was an opening and immediately applied. I was thrilled when I got it!

How has music played a healing role in your life?
For as long as I can remember, music has kept me company like a trusted friend. I have cerebral palsy — a disability that required several surgeries when I was a kid — and I always brought my Walkman with me to the hospital to distract myself from the pain and fear. James Taylor was my go-to and his voice has always soothed me.

Through twists of fate, I met James for the first time when I was 10 years old. I was having major surgery the next day and he took time out before his concert to ask me about myself and about what I was going through. I told him that I always brought his music with me to the hospital because it helped calm me down. He said, “I’m so glad I’m able to do that for you. I know it must be tough,” and then signed my tape jacket — For Jocelyn, With Love — before giving me a bear hug and a kiss on each cheek.

I had a grin on my face for the entire night as I watched the show with my dad. And when the surgery turned out to be especially rough on me pain-wise, I kept replaying the concert in my head and pretending I was there instead of in a hospital bed listening to my cassette.
That memory is seared into my mind, but there are countless others — listening to my iPod while someone I loved had open-heart surgery, seeing serendipitously-timed concerts with family while they navigated serious health scares , and listening to my favorites to distract myself during lengthy cancer surgery for my family member.

Music is a time machine and a time stopper — and over the last three years, music has been by side without fail. I know I can lean on the songs — that they’ll hold the weight of a moment or an hour. Music has been one certainty throughout the isolation and continual change. I’m eternally grateful for that.

What inspired you to start a fundraising campaign?
I know that hospital stays can be scary, and I know that music always helped me in that situation. I started my first fundraising campaign in 2013 because I wanted to make sure that other people of all ages got to experience the healing power of music, too.
What were some keys to the success of the campaign?
I made my fundraising campaign personal by telling my story and tying it to Musicians On Call’s mission. I also reached out to my whole network of friends, family, and acquaintances, and I shared an abbreviated version of my story in my email. I posted an even shorter version of my story and my ask on social media. I recommend reaching out to everyone because you never know who will give — even if you haven’t been in touch in ages. People will surprise you!

Why should people support Musicians On Call?
Illnesses, procedures, and hospitals are scary and isolating. Through Musicians On Call, musicians and their music make it less so. They bring joy, a sense of autonomy, and lightness when and where it’s needed most. Favorite songs are trusted friends that can visit, even when real-life friends can’t. Music heals.