How music can inspire your next venture
1. HELP THE SICK AND SUFFERING
Truly. No, you're not going to cure cancer with your music, but you can bring some joy and comfort to people suffering from cancers and other diseases. Musicians on Call is one nonprofit organization that arranges musicians to visit hospitals and care centers.
As their mission statement explains, "We bring volunteers to hospitals to perform at the bedsides of patients. This simple process can bring about miraculous changes for patients. 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."
If Musicians on Call isn't in your location – talk to them, they're growing! You can be a charter member of a new chapter. Or, you can set up your own local program. Contact hospital or long-term care centers; they all have social service and volunteer administrators. Get in touch with them about how you and some of your musical friends can bring the healing, uplifting properties of music to them.
2. MAKE A DAY AT THE PARK EVEN BETTER
You know those glorious days where the sun is shining and everyone is having a great day in the park or public square. People are sitting on blankets. Kids are kicking and throwing around balls. Make it even better by setting up shop and playing a little park music. Make it an impromptu concert.
In the alternative, find a public place that's perhaps too rushed or too ordinary and make it special. Joshua Bell famously turned a Washington D.C. subway station into a concert venue a few years back. Follow his lead and pick a similar spot. Bring a little beauty where usually it’s cold and chaotic. Even if you don't earn a dime, people will appreciate it.
3. AMBUSH A CROWD WITH A ROLLING, FLASH CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
This is a bit of a twist on the play-in-the-park idea. Go to any public place, a shopping mall, in front of a museum, a parking lot full of tail-gaters. Start the music with just one or two seemingly random notes. Then bring in more musicians as the piece develops. You'll get a crowd, for sure! It takes some planning, so bring in your musician friends to be a part of it. Here's what some music students in Prague did. It starts out like a more typical busking situation, then just grows and grows.
4. BRING A NEW KIND OF MUSIC TO YOUNGER KIDS
Some might not know this – but adults in classical music are thrilled you love classical music too! They're committed to making sure that the classical instruments like the violin, viola and cello stay alive in the hands of young people. You can play a part in that by sharing your music and instrument with younger kids. You can visit a grammar or middle school, or summer camp. Let the kids touch the instrument and make some sounds of their own.
5. OFFER TO PERFORM AT A FAMILY EVENT
Your family will LOVE this and you'll get some performance experience. It could be a reunion, wedding, birthday party, holiday get together. Whatever. Your performance will definitely make it one of the more memorable family get-togethers. Best of all – they'll love it. No matter what.
If none of these ideas move you, think about what moved you to start playing in the first place. Use that as a springboard to find your own way to inspire others with music.