This past summer, violinist Lindsey Sterling visited Wesley Place, Chicago Methodist Senior Services’ long-term skilled nursing community, with the organization Musicians On Call. The organization brings local musicians, in addition to national superstars, to nursing homes and hospitals, performing for residents and patients who have difficulty leaving bed. Performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan and Imagine Dragons have all participated with Musicians On Call.
In November, Nashville-based Musicians on Call officially launched in Chicago with a visit to Wesley Place from country music star Michael Ray, who performed for excited residents, staff members and volunteers. A reporter from NBC Chicago’s “Making a Difference” also stopped by to cover the event. Check out the news clip here, where CMSS Music Programming Coordinator, Henri Harps, talks about the impact these personal, live music sessions have on residents.
“It’s amazing,” Harps said. “It seems like magic every time.”
Music programming at CMSS
Musicians On Call is just one of CMSS’ many partnerships with musical organizations that enhance residents’ care. CMSS has hosted visits from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Songs By Heart Foundation, which brings professional singers to perform for people with memory loss. The Songs By Heart Foundation encourages participation because when people with memory loss sing familiar songs, they find relief from anxiety and experience a deeper willingness to engage.
CMSS also organizes outings to attend performances at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Blue Man Group and the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Harps is also leading CMSS’ new Music & Wellness Task Force, whose goal is to bring enriching music to resident care in new and exciting ways.
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