Music to the ears of hospital patients

Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:58pm EST
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By Christian Wiessner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities are often too sick to attend musical concerts, so a charity is bringing the music to them.

Musicians on Call, a non-profit organization, has organized bedside performances of live or recorded music for 125,000 patients since it was formed in 1999.

"People in hospitals are really hurting, emotionally and in a lot of other ways, and if we can do something then it's a great thing to do and it means a lot," said composer and musician Michael Bacon.

Bacon, along with his actor/musician brother Kevin, hosted a packed concert at New York's Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday to raise money for the charity.

Musicians on Call provides room-to-room hospital performances by both local musicians and national celebrities, who have included John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, Avril Lavigne and Kelly Rowland.

"It's a simple idea but results in a lot of positive force in recovery," said singer James Taylor. who performed at the concert.

Grammy-award winner Taylor, who has battled depression and drug dependency, understands the importance music holds in any recovery process.

"I'm sure that it saved my life. I know that it makes a direct spiritual connection, that it's a short cut to your soul and heart," he said at the concert.   Continued...

<p>Actor and musician Kevin Bacon performs with the "Bacon Brothers" during a tribute to Bruce Springsteen's music career at Carnegie Hall in New York April 5, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>