Some of my most meaningful moments as a musician have been with WXPN Musicians On Call.— Amos Lee
WXPN has worked with Musicians On Call to bring bedside performances to area hospitals since 2004. For the safety of our volunteer musicians, patients and hospital staff, we have ceased all in-person performances at the nine participating hospitals in the greater Philadelphia region.
We are working diligently to provide programming to patients during these unprecedented times, as the healing power of music is more important than ever. Here is what WXPN Musicians on Call is doing:
- Deploying Music Pharmacies consisting of tablets equipped with streaming services and top-of-the-line headphones to provide patients access to music right at their bedside. Each Music Pharmacy is provided to hospitals completely set up, and ready for patient use - complete with helpful materials for program management including instructions as well as logs for tracking tablet usage. All equipment has been carefully selected to be easily sanitized between use.
Interested hospitals can apply now.
- Sharing #MOCheals Playlists created by volunteer musicians from across the country who have come together to dedicate a song to aid the healing process. This playlist is intended to bring joy to patients, hospital staff, or anyone who may feel isolated, lonely or just in the need of a pick-me-up as a result of the pandemic.
- Virtual Bedside Performance Program (where applicable) brings volunteers guides and volunteer musicians directly to patients, homebound seniors and those in need of remote, live music. By utilizing video conferencing technology, volunteer guides host a 30- to 60-minute live session with performances from a volunteer musician. Because of this unique set up, volunteers and those dialing in can be located all over the country and multiple hospitals can join at once. Guides and musicians interact, tell stories, and can even answer patient questions passed to them from hospital staff.
Send an eCard to a Healthcare Hero
Give the gift of music to a Healthcare Hero you know. Show that you're thinking of them by sending an eCard that features a video of a song recorded by one of our talented volunteer musicians.
For every eCard, Musicians On Call also provides a song for a patient in the hospital.
Musicians On Call also provides a song for a patient in the hospital.
Be sure to note that you heard about this from WXPN so that your donation goes to our local program.
Programs for Patients and Long-term Care Residents
See COVID-19 UPDATE for current status of programs.
Bedside Performances. Each week Volunteer Musicians accompanied by a Volunteer Guide or hospital staff go room-to-room at participating healthcare facilities and perform for patients and their families. This simple process can bring about miraculous changes. We’ve seen veterans move their injured limbs to the music—and children smile for the first time since they’ve been in the hospital to receive treatment for cancer. These one-on-one interactions between musician and patient have the powerful effect of restoring the happiness that often fades away in healthcare facilities.
Music Pharmacies. Patients can access the healing power of music at their bedside using innovative technology including tablets equipped with streaming music and noise cancelling headphones, with the help of Amazon Music and Bose. Each Music Pharmacy hospital recipient will receive three tablets with streaming services set-up and noise cancelling headphones. In addition, each Music Pharmacy has custom curated playlists featuring music that promotes positivity and healing for the hospital environment. Each Music Pharmacy is provided to hospitals completely set up, and ready for patient use.
Project Playback gives long-term care patients the chance to write and record their own original music with a Musicians On Call volunteer. The songs are recorded in the hospital and then we host a CD release party for the patients, family, and caregivers to celebrate their work. Learn more through our recap of Project Playback at the Veterans Community Living Center, a retirement home in West Philadelphia TheKey.XPN.org.
Healthcare Facilities We Currently Serve
Since 2004, WXPN Musicians On Call has made a difference in the lives of more than 130,000 patients and their families by bringing live music to the bedsides of patients through weekly programs at WXPN Musicians On Call is a program that brings live music and performing musicians to the bedsides of patients in nine area hospital throughout our region.
- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
- Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
- Philadelphia VA Medical Center
- St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
- Christiana Care Health System’s Wilmington Hospital
- Bryn Mawr Hospital, part of Main Line Health
- Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health
Our Partnership With MOC
WXPN Musicians On Call is the non-profit partnership between WXPN and the successful New York-based Musicians On Call program. Working with the New York office on training and bookings, WXPN calls on its community of local musicians and passionate listeners to deliver the WXPN Musicians On Call services. A groundswell of volunteer support makes these programs possible.
How to Support the Healing Power of Music
You can support the program financially by making a donation! Your tax-deductible donation will help WXPN deliver the healing power of music to more than 13,000 patients and family members visited by volunteer musicians annually and provide the funding needing to expand to new facilities like the recent program launch at Lankenau Hospital.
WXPN Musicians On Call relies on volunteer musicians and guides.
- Volunteer activities currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Musicians perform for hospital patients and their families in private rooms, waiting areas, and recreation rooms. Generally we look for soloists and duos to play. We ask that you commit to 12 hospital visits per year (amounting to roughly two hours per month) and to attend an orientation program.
- Guides meet musicians at the hospital, communicate with hospital staff, introduce musicians to patients, walk with musicians as they go from room to room, and generally facilitate the Musicians On Call experience.
After an interview and training session, new guides accompany experienced guides twice before becoming a "full-fledged" guide. We ask that guides give a time commitment of 24 visits per year. Since the average minimum monthly time requirement is only four hours per month, you can participate in the program, spread the healing power of music, and still have time to listen to XPN!
To apply: Complete the online application today. Please allow at least two weeks for the NYC Musicians On Call office to review your application and get back to you.
Learn More about WXPN Musicians On Call
Hear from Volunteer Musicians, Guides, hospital staff, and families of patients about the impact of WXPN Musicians On Call. Produced by WXPN News Director Bob Bumbera.
- Volunteer Musician (Bedside Performances): Amos Lee.
- Volunteer Musician (Project Playback) Scot Sax.
- Volunteer Guide: Stacey Jarrell.
- Patient: Kim Winnick, sister of terminal patient.
- Hospital Staff: Carol Lynn Daley and Fran Hogan.
In the News
RELATED: WXPN Music Heals
Music Heals illuminates the powerful and soothing impact of music on the listener’s mental and physical well-being. In the following audio features, we explore the impact of music on mental health and wellness
- Kids Corner host Kathy O'Connell talks with Tracey Thomasey from the Support Center for Child Advocates about children dealing with sadness, depression, and more.
- WXPN news director Bob Bumbera talks with Philly singer-songwriter Katie Frank how she uses music as a recreational therapist.
Lift your spirits with this Music Heals Spotify playlist.