Lena Burke Reflects on the Healing Power of Music in Miami

Thirteen years ago, Lena Burke walked into Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, FL for a day of singing and performing. But the audience she was playing for wasn’t her typical fans; the audience was made up of children who were patients in the hospital and she would go room to room to perform for them at their bedsides.

Lena had volunteered for non-profits before, but it was her first time volunteering with Musicians On Call. All of the time she spent at the hospital was great, but one patient stood out to Lena the most. Her interaction stood out so much, she still remembers it vividly today. 

“She had the biggest eyes that I’ve seen,” Lena told Musicians On Call. “She was so kind, so grateful that we were there singing that day.” At the end of the performance, everyone in the room cried, including Lena herself. When she rewatches the video, she can feel some of the same emotions she felt on that day. “Music heals. Music brings people to other places,” she said. Since that day, Lena has connected with the patient’s father and he is forever grateful for her visit. “He came close to me and he said…she was so happy that day, and we all appreciate what you guys did.” Lena said reconnecting with the patient’s father will stick with her forever.

The song Lena played for the girl was one that holds a special place in her heart. “It means ‘being with you.’ It’s something magical,” she shared. The song is so special because it can take on different meanings for different people. Lena told us that it’s a love song, but it can be a love song for anyone. The teen knew the song and was filled with joy to hear it in her room. 

Smiling musician volunteer poses next to happy patient.

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