Posted by: Alex Borders | January 4, 2011

Shriners Hospital Visit

Tuesday 4th January 2011

On Sunday, December 19th, 2010 at 6:30 PM, a few of my WSP chamber music students and I went on a mission to spread holiday cheer to the in-patients at Shriners Hospital for Children.  Aaron Irwin, our recorder teacher, was there also to help guide one of the chamber music groups (The Mini-Mozarts) room-to-room, while I joined the other group (MOSS).

Dressed festively, and armed with our instruments, music stands, holiday sheet music, and treats for the patients, we went from room-to-room performing requested holiday music for the patients, especially those who were bed-ridden.  We visited around 25 rooms total.  One patient (who played the violin) was in isolation, which did not stop us, and we simply performed for him in the hallway outside of his room. Each patient’s parent was present as well, always at the side of his/her child, and they could not thank us enough for bringing an ounce of momentary happiness to their child.  It was an extremely touching, eye-opening, and sometimes overwhelming experience for the students, which to my surprise they handled very well with consideration of song selection, passing out a treat, and always saying “Happy Holidays” as meaningful as possible before leaving.

In the photographs you can see my two chamber music groups.  For most of them, it was their first experience seeing and being near a child close to their own age dealing with a permanent condition.  I could tell they wanted to give the patients so much more than the gift of music.

Many blessings for a great 2011 (the year of the Rabbit = luck)!

Written and submitted by Eliza Cho – The Waldorf School of Philadelphia Orchestra Teacher


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