Volunteer Musician Nick Howard Connects with Patients Over Songwriting

Volunteer Musician Nick Howard made a number of visits to New York-area hospitals and performed virtually for patients during the pandemic. Most recently, he returned in person to Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Nashville to perform for a handful of eager pediatric patients and their parents. Nick knows from personal experience how important these visits can be.

“When I was young I was in hospital quite a bit myself. I remember any sort of escapism you can have when you’re facing something like that, I found personally was very welcome,” he said. “I remember we would have visits from folks to try and take our mind off of what we were going through and I remember that being an important thing. It’s so nice to be able to give something back through music. Music is the most powerful healing tool we all have.”

And now as a parent himself, he can appreciate the relief his performances can provide not only for the patients, but for their parents as well. The original songs and Taylor Swift cover he performed that day did exactly that for everyone listening in the room and watching from their hospital beds. One young patient in particular bonded with Nick as she let her songwriting light shine.

After sharing that she’d been learning to play guitar and write her own songs, Nick encouraged her to sing one for the group. As her little voice began an acapella rendition of her own composition, Nick couldn’t help but add some guitar backing he came up with on the spot.

“I noted that the lyrics were just very sweet and it was about friendship. If you want a good friend you have to be a good friend was the message I took away from it. Kids have the best truth sometimes. And I was impressed that she had the courage to perform a song for everyone like that,” he said.

Nick values the time he’s able to spend delivering the healing power of music in hospitals because he knows what a refreshing experience it can be for everyone. Days in the hospital can feel extra long and repetitive when filled with tests and doctor visits. He says that anything he can do to bring relief and positivity is a good thing that will have a great impact on the healing process.

Click here to learn how you can become a Musicians On Call volunteer and deliver the healing power of music in hospitals near you.

Smiling musician volunteer poses next to happy patient.

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