Artist of the day: Suncoast Hospice Teen Music Group
People make music for different reasons. Creativity. Money. Just for fun.
A group of young musicians who call themselves the Suncoast Hospice Teen Music Group is doing it to help others in dire need of musical therapy.
Milan Patel, 15, a student at Palm Harbor University, started the project with four other volunteers in November. Playing every few weeks at Suncoast Brookside Hospice, they bring their enthusiasm for music to patients' bedsides. He has received a $2,500 grant from Scholastic Media's "Be Big in Your Community" contest. The group received the money last week, and plan on purchasing portable keyboards and music stands to expand the project. There are even plans to record a CD so patients and their families can take the gift of music with them.
Patel, above, spent months doing research before launching the project. He read up on the palliative effects of music. He spoke with doctors who specialize in integrative medicine. "For people at the end of their lives, one thing they can still do is accept gifts from other people," he said.
The gifts include calm songs by the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Five for Fighting and John Mayer. The group's vocalist can even sing Italian opera.
"Usually if we play something they recognize, they become more lively and energetic," said guitarist Doug Nguyen, 16. "It gives them something to remember from their past."
For more about the awesome, and inspiring, work being done by the Suncoast Hospice Teen Music Group, click here for Joey Flechas' story.
Photo: Douglas R. Clifford, tbt*