If you’re a musician – be you a singer, piano player, guitarist, or anyone who creates music – you know that being able to improve the lives of your audience through music is pretty awesome. Whether it’s seeing a reaction from the stage, or hearing someone tell you that your song helped them through a rough spot, being able to create music as a living or as a hobby is a really rewarding thing. But have you ever wondered if there might be a way you could use your talent to really influence the lives of others? As it turns out, there is. Below are five volunteer ideas for musicians.
Events and galas are held pretty routinely for things like charity fundraisers, special causes, and so on. Find events that are being held to fund raise for causes that are close to your heart. Whether it’s curing cancer or saving the whales, chances are there’s an event being held to help out, and you can volunteer your performing skills as part of the entertainment. Even if the event isn’t asking for musicians, go ahead and call them to see if they would like some free entertainment. Most of the time, they will say yes if they’re not already booked.
Some organizations host events to fund raise, but others are devoted solely to helping others through the power of music. There are many nonprofits that exist to use music as a tool to help others heal, uplift them, and enrich their lives, like Musicians on Call. This organization has branches in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Miami, D.C., and Los Angeles, and they send volunteer musicians to hospitals and health care facilities to brighten the days of those staying there.
Nursing Homes and Hospitals
If you love the idea of Musicians on Call but don’t live near a chapter, don’t worry. You can still call your local hospital or a nursing home to see if they would like some entertainment. In the life of someone who is sick or alone, being able to attend an event at their facility that is full of music and uplifting messages can make the difference between a bad day and a wonderful day. Performances are usually welcomed all year long, but during holidays where people may be feeling down or lonely, like Mother’s Day or Christmas, residents of these places can usually use an added dose of cheer.
Festivals and Concerts
If you want to set the microphone or guitar down for a minute and check out the backstage side of things, volunteer at a local concert or music festival to help set up, take down, promote, or assist in other ways. Not only do you get to give back, but you can learn a lot about the music business, gain an understanding of promotion and event planning, and even network.
If you’re a bit more advanced in an instrument or singing and feel you could give lessons, volunteering to do so is a great way to build your skill set, obtain great references, and help others learn music who may not otherwise be able to afford lessons or find a place to gain knowledge on the subject. You can teach music to children, special needs patients, at risk youth, the elderly, or even abroad in other countries. Sharing the joy of music by teaching others to express themselves through it is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
If you’ve been trying to find a way to volunteer, your love of music is all you need to get started. By donating your time and talent, you’ll not only help others but feel how rewarding it is to do so. Music is powerful; it can build spirits, fight depression, help people express their feelings, and even help with illnesses at times. Bringing music to others might just make the difference between daylight and darkness for them. In the process, you’ll gain exposure and experience, and you’ll be able to network, as well. Not sure where to find opportunities? Check out sites like VolunteerMatch.org and see where you can help out.