I went today for the first time to East Texas Medical Center to play for a friend who is battling cancer. Her latest communication said that she is so tired of the fight. So my emphasis musically for her was for comfort and good rest and energy to keep up the good fight.
What I learned today is:
1. Always ask the patient what they are in mood for – quiet music, happy music, particular songs, old hymns?
2. Be prepared with backing music on my small speaker – put in batteries cause there might not be easy to reach outlets. You want to have set up be minimally invasive…quiet and quick. Bring what you need – don’t expect the hospital to provide it.
3. Create playlists sorted by type of music so you can find the kind of music you want to play easily. Use a mute – the rooms are small.
5. Ask nurses ahead of time if patient can receive musical guests. Make contact with the Chaplain is possible. Explain you are here to minister to the patients, not perform.
6. Pray while you play – aloud and to yourself. Trust Him to bring comfort.