Update from HPM performance at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Just off of a performance at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rites. Absolutely amazing. After a fairly cool drive downtown to ATL, I made my way into the colossal (and beautiful) CHOA building that covers…seemed like, several city blocks. Perfectly mannered receptionists made me welcome and I toured the lobby and snapped a few pix while waiting. Peggy Douglas, my volunteer coordinator came down and took me up to the play room, which is where I would perform. A few chairs, tune up, washing of the hands and I was ready to go. The kids were prompt and timely. Wow. ( Why do we get late-itus as we get older???) But they came in…some in wheelchairs, some with masks over their little faces, some with IVs and other implements that let the world know how sick they were. But amazingly, I didn’t hear any of them complain or whine or beg for pity. They were just…kids. 2-5-sih. Goofy. Silly. Amazingly intelligent. And cool. We kicked it off with “Oh Susannah”, which the kids dug, but the parents and staff liked even more. James Taylor comparisons started up. Then we got down to a little John Denver “Country Roads” and the kids were warming up. I think they were liking the guitar more than me. Finally, after discovering that we had a couple of budding musicians in our midst, we broke out the heavy stuff. “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The ABC Song” and “The Wheels on the Bus” and we were rockin’! I found out quick that the right song makes all the difference. We rocked on with a mix of favorite kid songs along with classic pop and country stuff. Even threw in an original with “Jot ‘Em Down”…which brought up an intro to a lady and her son who live in Maysville. Cool. We also sang an impromptu performance of “123 Like a Bird I Sing” at the request of her son. We all then learned the meaning of “on the fly”. We also learned about Dobie Gray and all rocked on to “Drift Away”…kids and parents alike and then capped off the set with a killer performance of “Supercalifragileisticexpialidocious”, which the kids thought was an amazing word. All in all, it was truly the best experience I’ve ever had, in my entire musical career. Really. It was magical. To see the smiles and hear the laughter and see the kids singing and clapping and doing the “spider” motions…it made me realize that as musicians, we really do have an incredible gift. Not that we’re the greatest vocalist or guitarist or writer…or maybe we are…but regardless of our LEVEL of talent, we have the ABILITY to completely change a person’s life. Not just their day, but a life. I’ll be doing this now ‘til I die. This was like a dream for me. If you are a musician, contact me about how you can get involved with the Healing Power of Music. And if you aren’t, contact me to help volunteer in other areas. I promise, you will never be the same. Ricky

Leave a comment

Add comment