[Student Essay] Music in Hospital – Service Spirit within the World of Music
By Hyowon Shon & Seojin Park, Grade 11, Branksome Hall Asia
There are numerous ways to pursue service. You could take action by organizing a fundraising event for donations. You could support your school or local community as a volunteer. You could save nature by cleaning up trash, planting trees, or visiting animal shelters. Or you could even help people on the opposite side of Earth through overseas volunteering opportunities. Again, no matter the scale of the action we take, who, what, and how we help, the service spirit can come in infinite ways. In our case, we chose to take action through the world of music.
Music in Hospital is a student-led service club with young musicians who are willing to share their talent to serve the community. We have been visiting a local rehabilitation hospital every school term and performing live music to the patients. Our aim was to give them hope and motivation through entertainment and allowing them to feel a sense of joy. As there are limitations in entertainment that the hospital can provide to the patients, our team wanted to be the ones who provided them. We firmly believed in the value of providing a service which can entertain the patients through our own talent.
The club was started back in 2016 and has been continuing for six years. Our proud co-founders, Seoyeon Hyun and Sohee Chun, were two grade 11 students who had musical talent and were eager to share it as an act of service. On the other hand, the current co-leaders, Hyowon Shon and Seojin Park, were two grade 6 students who just needed a club to join. However, as we periodically visited the hospital for multiple years and watched the patients enjoying our performances, we learned that our small actions of sharing our talent and passion in music can be a huge joy or hope to some people who have less chance to experience a live performance. This experience did not only serve them as a source of entertainment, but it also gave them a memory as they interacted with students who can remind them of their grandchildren. After the valuable experience of six years, we now know the importance of service, and are trying our best to continue the co-founders’ visions. The small fire in our minds was lit, and this fire is what makes us put in our sincerity and effort.
The past few years have been the hardest times for our group since the outbreak of COVID-19. We had to cancel some rehearsals and had to be extra careful when the wind players gathered. Worst of all, we couldn’t visit the hospital to perform in front of the patients. This was a huge disadvantage because visiting the hospital and performing live was the part that entertained the patients the most. Not being able to do that meant that we lost the most impactful and meaningful part of our service.
However, we didn’t want to put our actions to an end. Our team had to seek solutions and alternative plans. We had surely got a penalty due to the pandemic as all of our service actions were restricted due to the safety protocols. But, we were able to deal with the challenge with the advancement of technology. Instead of visiting the hospital and holding a live performance, we recorded ourselves and made a CD to share with the hospital. This way, we were able to share our talent as a form of service that we were offering from the past.
Furthermore, the pandemic allowed us to have a different perspective and look towards the community that we belong to. The restrictions that we had made us to look for what we can do inside our school community and seek opportunities in which we can serve our school like we did to the external community. Instead of visiting the hospital, we performed in our home ground with the people we see everyday. Instead of serving for the people we do not know, we served people we know assuredly. The pandemic allowed us to see not only the outside world, but also to concentrate on what is right next to us.
This acknowledgement naturally led the way for our future plans for the club. Music in Hospital will continuously seek opportunities to serve our school community. Our team will participate in school events where we will be able to present our world of music through the form of service in which it provides entertainment and takes care of the well-being of our community.
Our team will also look for further opportunities where we can revive our previous service actions where we physically visit hospitals to perform in front of the patients. This is important as directly receiving feedback from a live audience is a great source of motivation. But, our team will expand our actions not only in the hospital, but also in other local organizations and institutions such as orphanages. We will seek ways we can directly interact with our audience and take a next step from the performer-audience interaction. Our team is ready to share our talents with our audience and also let them feel the world of music.
We believe in the power of service. How one act of service can lead to another. How our actions inspire others to acknowledge the need of supporting one another as we all belong to the same planet. The way our team transforms the abstract concept of service into action is through music.
Our team became one within the world of music, and we believe that it is our role to share our service spirit within the world of music that we believe in. Even though our team does not deal with heavy social issues nor a life-saving act, we serve our community in a way we believe we can do well. We believe that providing entertainment and taking care of the well-being of our people is another type of service which can shape a better world.
This is why our team, Music in Hospital, believes in the power of music and service. This is why we try to present our service spirit within the world of music.