A Bionic Ear Lab + No Green Bananas + Nashville Music Medics
Put them together and what have you got?
The CI Music Hour featuring No Green Bananas
August 24, 2023
The Senior Quartet “No Green Bananas” was honored to have been invited to appear on the USC Bionic Ear Lab’s weekly CI Music Hour to present some acapella singing for those Cochlear Implant participants Zooming in. We received this invitation from Chrysa Shasta Kovach, the Co-Facilitator of the CL Music Hour along with Julianne Papadopoulos. Chrysa is long time friend of our baritone singer, Sam English. A few years ago Sam had played string bass under Chrysa’s baton while she was with W. O. Smith Community Orchestra in Nashville, TN.
As we prepared for this visit we learned that The CI (Cochlear Implant) Music Hour is a music appreciation group for cochlear implant users to practice listening and engage with other cochlear implant users. Cochlear implants succeed at processing speech into meaningful sound, however, they don't yet process complex ranges of pitch, timbre, or harmonics very well so The CI Music Hour was created to better understand these challenges and study ways to improve the listening experience. Chrysa and Julianne were USC Graduate School classmates. After graduation Julianne continued working in the EarLab while Chrysa had discovered her “community mitzvah” and continues to volunteer with the EarLab.
During our visit with the participants we were able to sing a few songs (Duh, of course!) as well as talk about Barbershop Quartet singing and how we got started. After our first song we explained how the four voice parts combine to produce this unique form of close harmony with it’s foundation in seventh chords.
It was interesting then to hear feedback from the contributors about how they were able to identify the various individual vocal parts or any respective difficulties experienced ... including the strategic placement of a coffee maker and towel in our tabletop video and audio configuration.
All four of us No Green Bananas are also core singers with a therapeutic vocal music outreach to hospitalized children and residential hospice patients, and their families, in Nashville, TN. With the passion all of us share we could not pass this opportunity to explain the Mission of Nashville Music Medics. We shared our experiences with Nashville Music Medics, “Changing the World One Smile at a Time”, as we offered that these poignant visits continue to be the MOST MEANINGFUL to each of us over the many years singing this style of music. AND WE SANG A FEW MORE SONGS!
We even sang our “Maggie Song” to Maggie who was in the meeting with everyone!
Please see these links to learn more about Nashville Music Medics as well as “Hearing the Baritone “ and “What Nashville Music Medics Means to Us”.
Hearing the Baritone https://youtu.be/6yLBR8VbiGw
What NMM Means to Us https://youtu.be/6yLBR8VbiGw
“Thanks” once again to Chrysa , Julianne and the USC Bionic Earlab; and a special thanks to all the CI Music Hour participants who “Zoomed In” to join us while we all made some discoveries together!
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic, Changing the World One Smile at a Time
By Sam English on behalf of No Green Bananas and Nashville Music Medics
Then.Now.And.Beyond With One of Our PatientsBack in 2019 when the Nashville Music Medics reported on our “Sweet Eve” visit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, we did so after a very serious operation and what we saw in pictures in 2021, as an amazing recovery.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Usually we never hear what happens to these precious children after their stay, but we found out later how little Eve was doing and what we found was pretty miraculous.
In 2019, 8-month old Eve Amroun had undergone a complete liver transplant operation.We were invited by her Dad, Karim Amroun, to sing for Eve after her operation. We found Eve to be an alert and very happy baby who was well on the road to recovery after this serious transplant procedure. Not only were Eve and her parents happy that we stopped in to sing, but the Medics were very touched to recently learn that her older brother would often sing to her after she returned home to make Eve feel better.
Eve’s Mom - Kate, also told us that Eve is an extraordinarily feisty little girl who has a big personality, and an even bigger appetite.
There’s no doubt that Eve has fully recovered, as you can see by the happy smile on her sweet face, here in 2021.
Joyeux Anniversaire de greffe petite princesse!
Memories like this make it “Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!”
By Wayne Jackson, Events Coordinator
Nashville Music Medics
The Ayden Song 090123
By Sam English, Webmaster
for The Nashville Music Medics
Will It Get Any Better Than This Day to Remember?
Our August 23rd visit to The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial was without a doubt the most exciting visit in the Nashville Music Medics growing existence. Why was this visit so exciting you may ask - Because we were being taped for an upcoming story on TN Crossroads!!
There was so much happening that day that we initially considered a two-part News Item.
Our day started early due to the setup of cameras and lighting for Miranda Cohen, TN Crossroads Producer, to do some interviews about The Nashville Music Medics story and how we got started along this path.
Miranda and her staff interviewed Wayne Jackson, and our Music Team - Chuck Hamilton, Sam English, and Paul Wietlisbach. While those brief interviews were taking place we began an early warm-up with Chuck. With Miranda finished, the cameras got rolling with some great shots of us in action. Even warm-ups can be exciting!
We’re not looking for notoriety; we look for those opportunities that get the word out about our mission to bring our style of music, along with some joy and comfort, to the children who are in the hospital as well as their parents and family.
As we left our warm-up room, we traveled to our friends in the Pediatric Emergency Department where once again we found the nursing staff and physicians awaiting our arrival. We learned that our good friend Dr. Matt Jaeger was on duty. If you’ve been able to read our prior stories about the ED, you’ll remember the good Dr. sang Barbershop music while in medical school and that he has sung with us on a few other visits. More importantly to us, we took the time to sing to the nurses and ED staff, as we believe they need the care and attention often as much as their patients do. However, we had to leave before we were able to sing to one little girl as the cameras needed to roll somewhere else and we went to our next stop, returning shortly to sing to that one smiling patient.
And then on to our patient visits for the day where we found a sweet young lady, Aurora, and her family waiting for us to arrive. During our singing, I found Miranda Cohen becoming a bit teary-eyed over what we were giving to this family. That reaction is what we usually see when you see feel the power of music and what good can come from a song.
Along the way, captured in pictures, is the obligatory “elevator” shot, as well as those taken in the ED.
We left “No Green Bananas” to serenade Zemiah in the ED and the rest of us split for a few minutes and took the opportunity to serenade a first timer, Maggie Greco, HCA Marketing. We needed to welcome this new fan to the Nashville Music Medic followers. We had a chance to get to know Maggie and tell her about us and what we do. Of course we couldn’t let her get away without being serenaded with, you guessed it, “The Name Song.” (Also known as “The Maggie Song” at this time.) Needless to say, she was smiling and now glad to be part of the Music Medics’ growing family of followers and friends. We hope to see Maggie again soon as part of our travels to Centennial Children’s. We "captured" Maggie and a few minutes of her song, below.
The Maggie Song https://youtu.be/iScGkLfJaGE
Our Journey to the Atrium as captured by James Russell
What was unique about this visit that we had all 14 of the current Nashville Music Medics participating! That’s a first even after this many years and so many visits. We wanted to make sure that everyone was a part of this wonderful opportunity. Of course, we had to leave our TV Host, Miranda Cohen, with a parting gift. You guessed it, “The Name Song.” (Aka “The Miranda Song” )
The Nashville Music Medics wish to graciously thank Tonya Grissom, Abbie Magnum, and Maggie Greco, and the nurses and physicians at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial for all their support during this epic adventure.
Standby for the TN Crossroads broadcast in a few weeks!
We especially want to thank Miranda Cohen, Producer, TN Crossroads, for providing us this opportune time to further our mission. This day will not be forgotten anytime soon!
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic
There’s no doubt in any of our minds that - The Nashville Music Medics are “Changing the World One Smile at a Time.”
By Wayne Jackson, Events Coordinator, and Sam English, Webmaster
for Nashville Music Medics
Nashville Music Medics Stretched to Their Musical Limits
There’s something to be said for having a few extra songs in your music rep, as we discovered during our last visit to The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, August 9th.
After finishing The Name Song, our new friend, Mannon, requested we sing "The ABC Song". After a few bewildered looks around the room, we had him lead us and we provided the best rendition we could. However, that wasn’t enough!
Soon after we finished our ABC’s, Mannon asked if we could do "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
At that point, the Medics were really sweating as we all knew this was going to be full on woodshedding or “ear singing” at it’s best. Silly for us to think that would be the end of that!
After some laughing and applauding, Mannon asked if we knew “The Whale Song.”
The best we could come up with was some humming of “Baby Shark,” however his parents talked him out of the entire song as they saw our worried looks. We quickly said our good-byes and hurriedly exited the room, everyone laughing about the great time we had.
Prior to visiting this little guy, we had returned to visit a little girl who was part of our “day of firsts” several weeks ago. Her name was Kasley, who had given us our first ever hugs. After we came into her room, we immediately recognized her and the Medics sang her “The Name Song” again. She remembered and had a little bigger smile on her face this time.
I took the time to remind her about how special she was by “thanking” her for giving us those hugs at that first visit. We sang another song or two and as we started to leave, she jumped off her Mom’s lap and hugged each and every Medic as we began to leave. We all were amazed at this outpouring of love towards us. Her Mom was just beaming. Plus, our host for the day, Sydnie Epstein, CCLS, was also overwhelmed at what she saw, as she had not been with us during the first visit. You can’t even put a price on how much this means to us. Man, do we love this calling!
It's Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!
by Wayne Jackson for Nashville Music Medics
How to Find Music Medics Without Really Trying!
There’s a lot to be said for social media, especially if all the comments aren’t nasty. Of course, it helps if you have a lot of contacts who just happen to have a FaceBook page that you’ve liked and you’re on the BHS Music Medic Volunteer staff.
Just the other day while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post from a friend of the Nashville Music Medics. She used to work as a Certified Child Life Specialist at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, here in Nashville, before leaving to take another similar position back home in Austin TX. I commented on her post, mentioning that it was great to see her and that the Nashville Music Medics were still busy at her old stomping grounds.
She came back saying that it was great to hear we were still going strong and that she really missed hearing us sing and that she wished they had a Music Medics group where she works at Dell Children’s Hospital there in Austin. Ball’s in my court at that point!
So I thumb through the BHS Music Medic Registry of groups across the country and I find the group there in Dallas. Being geographically challenged, I email the guy there in the Dallas area and he tells me that Austin is a few hours away, but he is familiar with the barbershop chorus in the area and provided me the website. After a phone call and an email, I hear from the Performance Manager in A Capella Texas, and how excited he is to hear about this program and how they want to get a Music Medics Program started there. They were just looking for the pathway.
Dick Condit, A Capella TX, told me they were already doing something similar but not at a children’s location, or quite as formal as the BHS program. Additionally, he claimed they would be in touch with our friend at Dell’s and hopefully get this going there to help out their patients.
How great is that! Now we just sit and wait for all the reports coming out of Austin. Don’t you wish it was always this easy?
We just provide the pathway!
It’s Great to Be a BHS Music Medic! It's Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic
submitted by Wayne Jackson, BHS Music Medics Coordinator
Nashville Music Medics Learn Still More Lessons
at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital, Seacrest Studio
During our recent August 4th visit to the 2nd floor Performance Stage broadcasting through the Seacrest Studio channel, The Nashville Music Medics, represented by “No Green Bananas”, learned some more valuable lessons while on stage.
However, we need to first thank our stand-in bass Phil Berg, for ably filling in for Bill Munn who was out of town on some work thing. Imagine that! Work! Phil just put in the work and provided a great sound during the performance. Everyone left the stage with huge grins on their faces. We think the biggest smile of all may have come from Phil. We’re sure he had a great time! Thanks Phil!
The Nashville Music Medics and NGB are now ready to start branching out with new quartets as we continue to build our relationship with Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital.
Most importantly, NGB looked, felt and sounded so much more relaxed than with their first “live” performance in June. Since we knew what to expect, we were better prepared to provide a top rate performance. We were quite pleased with the number of patients and family members who decided to sit a while and listen, as well as the staff who decided to stop on their way by and participate. Of course, we had no idea who may have been joining in the fun on the other side of the screen during our Dad Jokes!
See you in September when No Green Bananas and the Nashville Music Medics again visit the 2nd floor Performance Stage at Seacrest Studios in Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Nashville Music Medics Make New Friends at Alive Hospice
The Nashville Music Medics have a way of making new friends even in the darkest times, especially when we sing for our friends at Alive Hospice. And, we always come away feeling so uplifted from these experiences that it’s sometimes hard to put into words.
During our recent July 26 visit, we met a wonderful lady named Bertha, who didn’t have a family member there, but nonetheless was still spreading her own unique style of joy through her beautiful art. She had heard us earlier during our visit, and complimented us on our singing, however, we were the ones who really benefitted by our brief visit with her when she told us her story and why she was there as a volunteer.
Our first visit of the day was with a young lady named Ross. She was there with her younger brother and Mom. Heather Bock, our Volunteer Coordinator for the day, popped her head in the door of this young lady’s room and asked if they’d like to hear some music. The most excited of all was her brother who asked “Do they have that harmonica thingy with them?” What a hoot!
Yes, we never leave home without it. Ross was so sweet. She had no idea what we did and was so surprised when we sang her the Name Song. Yes! You can sing that with only a one syllable name!
We finished up our day by meeting Carol. She was there standing vigil for a family friend, along with Joe, the patients brother, and an Alive Volunteer named Lisa with her service dog Skye. Skye was really cool, as he knew instinctively how to work the camera
While on the subject of making new friends, we certainly made one that day when we met Volunteer Coordinator, Heather Bock. She was so warm and friendly to us. She was a joy to work with. She was quite moved by the impact we had on the residents, having not had the chance to see or hear what we do. We suspect she’ll be following us along the way now after working with us during this last visit.
Bertha and her admirers Heather
It’s Great to be a Nashville Music Medic
Nashville Music Medics Say Farewell to Another Friend
There must be something in the air, as the Nashville Music Medics bid Mary Bueche, Certified Child Life Specialist, The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, a fond farewell during our July 26th visit. Mary will be leaving to pursue a different career path as a Pre-K teacher. If there were anyone suited to be a Pre-K teacher, it would be Mary.
After we serenaded Mary with her own personal name song - “Mary’s a Grand Old Name,” we presented her with a small token of our appreciation for her support and love she has given us. After hugs all around and the now famous elevator pictures were taken, Mary took us around one last time to visit our “kiddos.”
It certainly was a great visit with Arianna, who we had visited once before. She was all smiles as we entered the room. She immediately requested that we sing some of the songs we sang to her last time we visited.
That was followed up with a visit to a really happy young lady named Faith, who was so excited to hear us sing, as someone had told her all about us. HMMM! Wonder who told her that. She exclaimed she had never heard anything like our style of singing before and was surprised when we told her we had a “name” song just for her. Of course, everyone was smiling when we sang our signature song - You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
We ended our visit in the Emergency Dept. by singing to two other children. We hoped they felt a little better once we left. Their mothers certainly looked happy at the comfort we provided them and their children.
The Medics wished Mary one last good-bye and told her to be on the lookout for some suspicious guys in scrubs coming to her new school. I’m telling you! How much fun will that be singing for kids 3-5 years old.
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!
Music Medics Mission Expands Across Multi-Gen
Losing a spouse is hard. And ditto for sharing the loss of a neighbor’s spouse.
On July 15th, The Nashville Music Medics shared in the eulogy of a neighbor near my home in the Del Webb Lake Providence community. On June 22nd, the Medics had sung for Eileen Edwards and her family at Alive Hospice. During the summer of 2022, Alive Hospice was added to our original mission of song that began in the Tri-Star Centennial Children’s Hospital. Twice a month, the Medics would serve “ A Spoonful of Sugar” or a jolly “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to toddlers and teens alike. And hospital staff would occasionally get a more robust barbershop blast during lunchtime in the reverberating open-ceiling atrium. Since then, Alive Hospice has been part of our regularly scheduled sing outs.
On this July Saturday morning, the clubhouse ballroom was standing-room only with folks who gathered to honor and reflect on the life of Eileen Cross Edwards. Eileen had been active as a member and volunteer in Del Webb clubs and organizations. She was regularly involved in major events sponsored by the Del Webb Lifestyles Committee. Eileen and her husband Phil were often seen walking around the Del Webb lake with their friendly labrador, Patrick Henry. And no surprise to friends, Eileen hosted some very memorable St. Patrick’s Day parties with tasty home cooking. The Celebration was led by Providence Church Pastor Mark Youngman, who delivered a heartfelt celebration of life message about Eileen.
Family, residents, and friends had opportunity to share how Eileen had made a difference in their lives as a loved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Nashville Music Medics sang the well-known hymn “It is Well With My Soul,” penned by a father after the death of his four daughters on a transatlantic voyage. We continued with “Irish Prayer,” which was received with many teary eyes. That response touched every Medic while we finished singing the words “May God hold you in the palm of his hand.” The service concluded after Phil Berg and I sang a couple of verses from the hymn “In the Garden” (C. Austin Miles).
Nashville Music Medics James, Phil & Ukeleles
When Phil Edwards and daughter Jennifer asked me if the Nashville Music Medics would participate in Eileen’s Celebration of Life service, I was honored and somewhat anxious at the same time. This was uncharted music territory for our band of merry men. With family summertime travels already in full swing, or in the planning stages for some of our group, I felt a little too vulnerable by the idea of singing for a neighbor who lived on my street. Eileen was a neighbor who made me and others laugh at her funny stories and adventures. She broke bread with my wife and I at her house parties with other neighbors. Initially, I was hopeful enough for the availability of a quartet to sing on Saturday. Instead, more than twice that number arrived in their blue hospital scrubs to boost my doubting-Thomas faith. For the first time, Nashville Music Medics shared song in a special service where tears were shed and praises were spoken. And they touched my heart. Love you guys.
By James Lewis Russell, For Nashville Music Medics
Nashville Music Medics Cheer up President of Barbershop Harmony Australia
Barbershop Harmony Australia (BHA), President, Dan Millgate, was on his way home from the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) convention in Louisville KY when he found himself unfortunately delayed in Nashville TN where he was to catch his flight home to Australia.
The Nashville Music Medics had been visiting one of the local children’s hospitals as is our bi-weekly custom. While singing for the children we learned about an incident involving a motor vehicle, a motorized scooter and the BHA President which had occurred a day or two prior. Without hesitation a quartet of Nashville Music Medics (“No Green Bananas”, aka “No Green Erik” in light of the conflict for NGB’s baritone) piled into Erik Dove’s chariot and headed for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to find Dan and to (hopefully) cheer him up a wee bit.
(Erik) (Bill) (Doug) (Chuck)
Chuck Hamilton, Music Director for Nashville Music Medics, was among this adventurous foursome and reports successfully locating Dan and presenting him with a Nashville Music Medics greeting beginning with “The Dan Song” which is eerily familiar to “Honey, Little Lize”. After blessing Dan with our signature song for our kiddos, “You’ve Got A Friend in Me”, they belted out “From the First Hello, To the Last Goodbye” and said their goodbyes, wishing Dan a speedy recovery and safe travels back to Australia.
Chuck reported that No Green Erik “penalized” a Nurses Station on the way out with another “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and then a Security Guard, and then the entire Emergency Department waiting area! ! !
I was able to get in touch with Dan as he was boarding his flight July 16th for his 28 hour journey. He shared this with me:
On 07/16/2023 4:28 PM CDT Dan Millgate wrote:
Hi SamHere are a couple of songs that helped bring so much joy to a rather grim situation.
Thanks for your message! Yes I am on the mend. It’ll take a while but I have been very well cared for here in Music City.
I sent Erik a message that he might not have seen yet, but it applies to all of you:
“Mate, I can’t thank you and the other Music Medics enough for singing to me the other day. You really made a huge impact and I’ll never forget it.
I had read about you in the Harmonizer and thought it was a beautiful thing to do, but experiencing it first-hand just confirmed for me the power of music and the immense pride I have in being part of the barbershop family.
You’re awesome. Thanks.”
I’m off to board the plane now - should be home in about 28 hours! Thanks again
The Nashville Music Medics made at least 100 new friends in this adventure to surprise Dan.
It’s Great to be a Nashville Music Medic, “changing lives one smile at a time”
(Sam English 07/16/23 for Nashville Music Medics)
A Day of Firsts for Nashville Music Medics!
Medics to Hire New PR Man
We started our day visiting a delightful little girl in the Oncology section. Those visits are always so tender, especially when they are a bit younger. Kaisley, a 4-year-old little girl was hesitant at first to have us sing, so she decided to sit in her Mom’s lap the entire time. Once we finished, we said our good-byes and wished her well. We weren’t too far from the door of her room when she came running, and asked if it was OK to give us a hug. WELL YES! Great to watch 7 older gentlemen crumble when this little girl asked that question. We’ve been at this now for over 4-years and this was the FIRST time any of our kiddos has asked to give us a hug.
Our 2nd visit was with an 8-year-old boy named Ming. We knew Ming;this was the 3rd time we visited him! However, he was happy and smiling and glad as always to see us. We decided to sing him some different songs since he was familiar with our usual stuff. Little did we know that he’d been out “singing” our praises to the other children close by to his room. Apparently, he had stopped by the young lady’s room next to his and told her all about us. The Medics could certainly use a PR guy. We’ll have to inquire and see if he’s available!!
CLICK HERE FOR A Serenade with "The Ming Song"
Which leads us to our next visit, Miss Molly, a really cool 13-year old, as evidenced by all the decorations in her room and who was quite excited to see us and hear us sing. Before we even got started, she asked if all of us would sign her autograph book. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been at this now for over 4-years and this was the FIRST time any of our kiddos has asked for our autograph.
Last stop of the day was the PICU. There we sang to a lovely little girl and her Grandma GIGI, presenting us with another opportunity to serenade “GIGI” with “The Name Song.” They were both surprised and smiled profusely during our visit. The staff loved it as well.
There’s no doubt in any of our minds that -The Nashville Music Medics are “changing the world one smile at a time.”
Nashville Music Medics Take The Stage at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital, Seacrest Studio
What a treat for The Nashville Music Medics, represented by “No Green Bananas”, when we learned our June 13th performance was being held on the 2nd floor Performance Stage and broadcast through the Seacrest Studio channel to patients watching from their rooms.
The performance had a uniquely different feel to it as not only did we sing to a “live” audience who were seated near the stage, or just strolling by, but also knowing there were other patients who were watching No Green Bananas on the television in their rooms. The guys worked extra hard to ensure that everyone, whether there in front of them, or in the patients rooms, were equally entertained. We’re always appreciative of the warm reception we receive from those who can watch and hear us sing.
The singing highlight of the day came after No Green Bananas had finished their 30-minute set and were greeting folks. The quartet was approached by an adorable little girl who had heard them sing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and excitedly exclaimed, “I know that song!” The guys gathered around her and her family and gave her a personal re-singing of what has become a theme song for us.
YouTube Link Below
The high point of the day for us was when we were invited to come back and sing on a regular basis. Of course we said YES!
No Green Bananas and the Nashville Music Medics are looking forward to their next visit to the 2nd floor performance stage at Seacrest Studios in Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
It’s GREAT to be a Nashville Music Medic
|YouTube Video URL:|
Nashville Music Medics Bid a Fond Farewell
During our June 21st visit to ALIVE Hospice, we joyfully bid a fond farewell to Lynn Edtl, Volunteer Coordinator. Lynn is leaving ALIVE Hospice to pursue a different career path. Prior to our visiting with patients, we took a few minutes with Lynn, letting her know how important she was to our success at ALIVE Hospice and how much we appreciated her support over the last year. The Medics wanted to show Lynn how much we “loved” having her with us, and gave her a small token of our appreciation, which she is wearing, and wore during our visit. As we left, Lynn let us know that today was not the last time we would see her, and left us with a “see ya later.”
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic .
|Once again, This is Why We Sing! (by Wayne Jackson)|
I know! You’re probably getting tired of this same article being written over and over ………. Not Sorry! THIS IS WHY WE SING!
The Nashville Music Medics think it’s important for all of our friends to know why we sing and to help promote this program to other singers who may be on the fence about joining in and becoming a Music Medic.
Our singing day last week, Wednesday, June 7th, could have been difficult as we had a few last minute calls/texts from some of the guys who were unable to make it; however, as Paul W explained,
“It was tight but we had the 4 parts covered all day and sang quite well. The guys sang like the Champions they are. We seem to be singing for more patients these days at ALIVE Hospice. It does make for a long day especially for the guys that are still working stiffs; However, it is indeed great to be a Nashville Music Medic.”
Marty M mentioned,
“I came from an already busy day (like all of us still working), but did break away to feed myself AND serve others some joy and smiles. Even before I got to sing, the two ladies in the elevator said ‘you're here to sing, we love you guys!’ After the Atrium in the elevator another lady said, that was awesome!”
Bill M told us -
“Definitely had a great day, and always feel like WE are blessed to have the chance to do what we do. A couple other comments that I heard were ‘You are all angels sent by the Lord’ and ‘Never stop doing what you are doing!’ Certainly keeps me wanting to go back every time I can. In many cases the extended family and staff are more touched by what we do than the kids or folks that are “transitioning.” It’s great to be a Music Medic!
Sam E summed the day up with these comments –
“ As we left Chloe’s room (a very sweet teenager who had correctly answered Wayne's "test" question), I told her mother ‘Here's hoping we don't see you back here again, and you understand what I mean! She smiled broadly and said 'It's sad that we are sick and need to be here, but you sure have brightened up this day for us.’ “
“WE MADE IT THROUGH WITH GREATNESS, BLESSINGS AND BEING BLESSED IN RETURN! It's GREAT to be a Nashville Music Medic; always generating smiles and continually changing the world just one smile at a time.”
This. Is. Why. We. Sing.
And Alive Hospice-Nashville LOVES the visits by Nashville Music Medics
The day after our bi-weekly visit, May 24th, to Alive Hospice we were thrilled to see that Alive Hospice had posted to their Facebook page before we could get our editing and proofreading staff together to prepare. [Yeah, that is either one or two of us]
|YouTube Video URL:|
|Nashville Music Medics and HarmonyTown Music Medics Sing Together|
We keep saying that singing as a Music Medic can’t get any better each and every time we go out to provide a song and a smile, but there you have it, as we were proved wrong on Wednesday, May 24, when the Nashville Music Medics sang with our new friend, Charles Malbandian, from HarmonyTown Music Medics, Wayne, Michigan.
Charles was passing through Nashville and decided to stop in and visit the Music City Chorus on Tuesday. After meeting a couple of the Nashville Music Medics and talking with our own Kirk Jordan, Charles learned that our Music Medics were on the road the next day and he hung around just to sing with the Nashville Music Medics. He joined us as we moved through Centennial Children’s Hospital during our bi-weekly visit to sing for patients and families.
During our visits with the Centennial patients we were thrilled to visit with Destiny, an adult patient celebrating a transplant earlier in the week. She was enthralled and thrilled with our visit and the songs we shared which included Sitting on Top of the World in celebration of her transplant.
We also visited with Arrianna and her mom and sisters, Avrianna and Ahrianna.
Of course we had to sing the Arrianna song; our bass decided we could include all 3 names as we sang. Now that was entertaining!
We won't hold it against Charles that he sings in the Harmony Town Music Medics quartet with this Eddie Tabb guy!
|Nashville Music Medics on The Big Stage at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital, Seacrest Studio|
Although the words, “These are the Nashville Music Medics” weren’t said quite like that during our first visit to Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt on May 12th it certainly felt like it. The Nashville Music Medics resident quartet, No Green Bananas, visited the Seacrest Studio for their chance to serenade the entire hospital from the studio’s state-of-the-art broadcast facility.
During their thirty-minute program, they sang a selection of songs used when we visit other children’s hospitals in the Nashville area. We even got a chance to sing for the man himself, Ryan Seacrest, using our rendition of the “name song.” They also chatted with the on-air personnel about the Music Medics, providing a short history about the Music Medics program, when Nashville started theirs, why we sing the music we do, and the reason why we wear scrubs.
It certainly was a great day for No Green Bananas and the Nashville Music Medics. It may have been the highlight of our Medics journey.
“After the nationwide vote was taken,” it was agreed that, No Green Bananas and the Nashville Music Medics were a “great bunch” of guys and that they’ll surely return soon for another visit to Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital.
A New Singing Partnership Begins!
On 12 May, The Nashville Music Medics made their first ever visit to Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt. This performance is the start of an exciting new partnership with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and we hope the Nashville Music Medics can return often, so that we can “change the world one smile at a time.”
Many thanks to the Monroe Carell Jr. team that helped make this possible.
It’s Great to be a Nashville Music Medic!
Nashville Music Medics Are Always Full of Surprises!
During the Nashville Music Medics 10 May visit to ALIVE Hospice, we managed to surprise another unsuspecting social worker while we were making our way around the campus visiting residents.
Once we found out her name (Kaitlyn), she was serenaded by, you guessed it, the now world famous “name song.” Needless to say, she was both pleased and embarrassed by our singing to her. She left with a big smile and more importantly, a better understanding of our mission to “change the world one smile at a time.”
Thanks Miss K, and Welcome to the Nashville Music Medics family.
| Nashville Music Medics Making New Friends Along the Way|
Whenever The Nashville Music Medics go out to sing for the children, we always hope to make new friends. During our 26 April sing-out at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial, we made new friends. How cool is that!
We were pleased to meet Sidnie, a new Child Life Specialist, who has a jolly personality and a winning smile. Little did she know that she was going to be initiated into the NMM family when we began by singing to her. I’m sure you can guess what song we sang. Fortunately for us, she proved to be a good sport about the embarrassment we caused her.
We then met a precocious 13-year old patient in the Oncology Unit, who much to our surprise and delight was able to guess the answer to our Dad Jokes. It was smiles all around when she started singing along with us to You’ve Got a Friend.
From there we travelled to the ATRIUM where we met what NMM believes to be our first “groupie.” She told us that she attends our mini-concert every time we sing there. It doesn’t get any better than that. And, this happens every time we sing.
It’s Great to be a Nashville Music Medic
“NO GREEN SAGACITY"
Bill “Wezul” Chuck Kirk Mary
The Nashville Music Medics were just a bit stretched today with available medics to join in the bi-weekly adventure. Half of our quartet “No Green Bananas” was in the mix and half of another former quartet “Sagacity” was able to fill the dance card. “No Green Sagacity” reached out and made us proud. As our Sagacity lead, Kirk, explained in an email:
“True to the Barbershop tradition, the Nashville Music Medics turned into a real quartet today. During our singing, real tears flowed from two of the patients (which took us by surprise because we didn’t think we sounded that bad ! J) The census was low at Centennial Children’s Hospital today; still we sang for a 7-year-old boy who asked, “Where did you guys learn to sing like that?”
Kudos to Wezul who sight-read on Bari today. And to Bill for photos to placate Sam.
Nashville Music Medics Once Again Sharing at AliveHospice Residential Facility-Our Singing Gone to The Dog
Six of us comprised the Nashville Music Medics contingent that paid our bi-weekly visit to AliveHospice on March 8, 2023. However, none of us (Erik, Mike, Paul, Sam, Kirk and Chuck) expected we would have an anonymous tenor sing-a-long participant in one of our first patient/family visits.
We have frequently reported that we never know what to expect, nor what impact might be shared with families, patients and those of us making the visit. As we were sharing our “Name Song”( aka “Honey Little Lize”) for one of our first patients and her sons, we heard a not-so-muffled Bb obligato drone tone coming from the floor area to our left; it stopped momentarily but then resumed again with vigorous enthusiasm. We soon discovered it was “Gracie”, the Chihuahua, from the comfort of her crate! Gracie was removed from her crate to the comfort of a lap while we finished the song (albeit along with Gracie’s tenor Bb!) We will likely consider this “Gracie Moment” one of those memorable happy occasions. It must have been the tempo and enthusiasm of the song; Gracie had no interest in singing along with the next two songs we shared.
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic.
|DOUG IS BACK ! ! ! !|
On February 14, 2023 No Green Bananas was privileged to present Singing Valentines to Dr. V. Seenu Reddy, his gathered staff and associates at TriStar Centennial Medical Center on behalf of our Lead singer, Doug Wooten.
No Green Bananas quartet members are also regular singers with Nashville Music Medics. (www.NashvilleMusicMedics.org)
On January 10, 2023 Doug underwent triple by-pass surgery by Dr. Reddy, Tri-Star Cardiovascular Surgery. Nashville Music Medics were at Tri-Star Centennial Childrens Hospital on January 11, 2023, presenting our customary bi-weekly outreach to the children and families, under the guidance of the staff of the Centennial Certified Child Life Specialists. At the same time, Doug was in resting in Cardiac SICU less than 24 hours post-op. After securing approval from the ICU staff and Doug's family we made our way to sing for Doug. On February 14th,Valentines Day, Doug sang in great voice and renewed health in a full day of Singing Valentines deliveries with his quartet (and guest bass, Paul Wietlisbach), including a stop at Tri-Star Centennial as a gesture of sincere thanks and great appreciation for the personal care and professional expertise to put him back on his feet in full voice!
No Green Bananas was one of three quartets who participated in the annual Singing Valentines promotion sponsored by the Music City Chorus in Nashville, TN.
Two of the Valentines songs sung for Dr. Reddy and his staff were Sweet and Lovely and The Tonya Song.
We invite you to take a moment to share the joy we experienced with Doug, No Green Bananas, and Dr. Reddy's staff and colleagues.
https://youtu.be/NiC7K-P5Dis Sweet and Lovely
https://youtu.be/28JjHkGnFlA The Tonya Song
on behalf of No Green Bananas and Nashville Music Medics
Elevator Fun With Chloe and Medics IronMan Doug Returns
The Nashville Music Medics made a new friend during their January 25th visit, when they were introduced to Miss Chloe, while making the ‘rounds at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. This turned out to be a special treat for Chloe as she isn’t usually assigned to Centennial on Wednesdays. She was so excited to get to hear us and was very appreciative of the work we do in support of the children. Of course, we had to take the obligatory picture with her and wished her well and much success while finishing her schooling.
What was even more exciting than making a new friend, was the return of our Music Medic IronMan, Doug Wooten. Just two short weeks after his January 10th by-pass surgery, he returned to the fold to sing with us. We were simply amazed at how great he looked and of course how well he was able to sing….was there ever a doubt ?
| "This is Why We Sing" |
In Memory of
David Leslie Thomas
February 23, 1959 – January 25, 2023
In June 2022, we (the Nashville Music Medics) expanded our charitable outreach mission by singing in one of the Nashville hospice residences. Our goal at the hospice is the same as when we sing for the children: to bring joy and comfort through our music for them and their families. Our mission is simple – to provide the wonderful and powerful medicine of a smile and a song.
The first time we met David was during our holiday visit to ALIVE Hospice on December 21, 2022, when we sang Christmas Carols with the residents and their families.
On January 11th, we once again stopped in to see David. [ "Nashville Music Medics Go to Music School" ]This time he was so engaging that he joined in to sing with us and taught us a few things about our craft. We enjoyed his company so much that we took some extra time to teach him a barbershop “tag.” We learned that David was no stranger to performing as he talked about some of his past performances. Needless to say, we were very impressed and encouraged.
We last visited David on January 25, 2023, when we sang two new songs that we knew he would want to hear. Sadly, by that time his health had declined so significantly that he was unresponsive.
The Medics were crushed to learn of his passing later that evening. David left a profound mark on all of us as several of the Medics had grown close with him over the last several weeks, and several made the following remarks when they learned the news of his passing:
James Russell: “My song-writing buddy and I were truly blessed by David one Saturday morning as we were playing and singing songs together in room 173. He touched our lives—along with so many others. We are saddened by his death. He was a gifted and inspiring musician with a great sense of humor who loved to entertain with his music.”
Bill Munn:“Very sobering that someone this alive and talented can be gone so quickly. I did see him move a couple times as we were singing yesterday, so I know he heard us.”
Wayne Jackson: “Our good friend and musical brother David has left us. As a body of musicians, we were truly inspired and touched by the time we spent with him. He meant a great deal to us.Knowing a little about his background, I believe the recent song he wrote was one of hope.”
Dick Percy: “I was so moved to listen and watch David perform there in his hospice room. The visits we had with David were so inspirational. We always had trouble leaving the room - just one more song! I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with David even for just a brief time. A talented young man who left this earth too soon.”
Marty Monson: “I remember singing for him before the holidays, and he had his guitar in the room. He sang along and loved our harmony...I think we sang a few extra songs too! “
Sam English: “Crushed! I remain so touched by David that the Nashville Music Medics were among the last folks to visit him on January 25.”
Sam had grown particularly close to David, so much so that David reached out to Sam with the new song he wrote, “When We Meet Again,” so we could arrange the song in four-part harmony Barbershop style. David did a personal video recording for Sam from his hospice room on January 20th. Sam said “I will forever cherish that Facebook moment with David. David was so willing to talk with me about the onset of his disease, but before we could talk much about that opportunity, his health deteriorated… and regrettably I missed that moment.”
Clearly, when we sing for the precious children and their families, and our Hospice friends, we firmly believe that the Lord’s hand is upon us, blessing this ministry that we share. That feeling was never more evident than the last time we sang for David. Our mission is truly a mission of mercy and love.
This is Why We Sing.
Rest easy, Brother David
With kind permission from ALIVE Hospice, we share David’s last offering of hope and joy which was published by Alive Hospice the day before he peacefully passed.
Wayne Jackson, Sam English, for Nashville Music Medics
January 27, 2023
Nashville Music Medics Go to Music School
It’s not everyday the Nashville Music Medics run across a resident who joins right in to sing along, and who can also teach us a few things about how to sing. But, that’s what happened during our 11 January visit to ALIVE Hospice. After receiving a warm greeting from Lynn, the Volunteer Coordinator, we set off to bring some comfort to the residents and their loved ones.
During our first visit of the day we met "Rick" [not his given name at birth], who was so engaging, that he joined in to sing with us, as well as teaching us a few things about our craft. Co-incidentally he did have his guitar and a keyboard in the room. "Close the door, so I can sing"..Rick. We enjoyed his company so much that we took some extra time to teach him a Barbershop “tag.” He of course was note and pitch perfect. We quickly learned "Rick" was no stranger to performing. He talked about some of his past musical exploits and needless to say, we were well impressed.
On our way to our next visit, we wished 'Rick" well, and hoped to see him again. The Nashville Music Medics aways look forward to their next visit, because, you just never know who you’ll meet along the way…..
The Medics Sing For One of Our Own
During our most recent visit to The Children’s Hospital @TriStar Centennial on Wednesday, 11 January, the Medics made two new friends as well as having the privilege of singing for one of our own. Upon arrival, the Nashville Music Medics were met by our new friend Tanika Torres, Director of Pediatrics, who along with Pam, Pediatric Floor Manager, escorted us to each room we visited. They were such a pleasure to be with. We’re always grateful when we come to visit our “kiddos,” and are always pleased when we’re able to sing for members of staff who have not heard us before.
To top off our day, we had the privilege to sing for our Nashville Music Medics brother, Doug Wooten, who happened to be in the Heart and Vascular section, recovering from by-pass surgery. Doug looked great and it certainly looked like he was well on his way to getting back to singing with us in the near future. You know, you can’t keep a good man down, as Doug sang right along with us. As usual, Doug didn’t miss a beat or a note.
Get well soon Doug!
[Editor Update: 14 January 2023. Doug is smiling and recuperating at home. And he looks like he is hungry...for some ringing 7th chords.]
Lorin May, Editor, The Harmonizer, spent a few hours with The Nashville Music Medics while we visited with our "kiddos" at Tri-Star Centennial Childrens' Hospital. He talked with the staff and the parents; he walked with us from room to room. This is his finished product.
His featured seven-page article begins on page 18
Well, while we thought that our "Ending the Year on a High Note' from yesterday would conclude the Latest News for 2022 I was pleased to have discovered that our friends at AliveHospice-Nashville had posted a "looking back over 2022" on their Facebook home page and included one of our visits, July 2022, when we visited with Joseph, sang with Joseph and laughed with Joseph as we shared our four-part harmonies!
It has been a wonderful relationship established with AliveHospice this year, furthering our outreach to bring some joy one smile at a time. We are pleased they thought enough to include us in their end-of-year favorites photo collection. That Facebook post has been captured in these screenshots.
Blessings and Peace to all in 2023.
It is Great to be a Nashville Music Medic
|For more information, see:|
Nashville Music Medics End Year on a High Note
No pun intended (sure there is!) as the Nashville Music Medics really did end our year on a high note. We started our day by singing at The Children’s Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial, where we met a little girl who was absolutely beaming at the sight of her Daddy ringing bells during our singing of Jingle Bells. We then sang for a happy little guy who just danced around while we sang, and thanked us for coming by. We finished our time in the children’s ward singing for a 14yr-old who smiled politely. We couldn’t tell whether he was just tolerating us, although he did invite us into his room.
From there we moved to the Atrium
We sang to an appreciative crowd who was looking down from many floor balconies above. There’s nothing like singing in a place where the chords really ring.
One of our Medics, James, claimed it sounded like “Barbershop on steroids”. We finished up our day at Centennial by singing in the Pediatric Emergency Dept. We left happy and smiling as we wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, with plans to return early in January 2023.
We finished up our day with our good friends at ALIVE Hospice. Among those patients we sang to a family who was moved by our rendition of “O Holy Night,” and a former musician who really loved our tight harmonies and even sang along. As we left, we wished everyone @ALIVE a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and promised to return in January.
|A Moment of Grace at AliveHospice, December 7, 2022|
"It was a rare moment for the Nashville Music Medics when we roused a hospice patient from semi-consciousness...with a song" - Kirk, NMM Lead/tenor
Our Coordinator of Volunteers and guide for the day introduced us to Randolph (not his real name), who was resting in a minimally-conscious state with his family by his side. The family then asked us to come into the room to sing a few Christmas carols.
We began singing with O Holy Night. Randolph’s wife proclaimed that "He's squeezing my hand - he hears you!” We then sang Angels We have Heard on High. As the family held hands, we saw a few tears on some cheeks. His wife again said, "He's squeezing my hand - he hears you!"
Randolph and his sister and family were noticeably touched by our Christmas carols; we were equally affected by Randolph and his family.
Sam, NMM Bari/Bass singer noted: “And this was JUST us singing some Christmas Carols!” Kirk, NMM Lead/Tenor singer countered with “I found Christmas Carols to be powerful as a youngster when my father and mother and siblings went caroling in our small town. And I still do today.”
According to the AliveHospice, Volunteer Coordinator, “Randolph’s wife continued to talk about you and the gift you gave. Thanks to all the Nashville Music Medics for the good work you do!”
This is why we do what we do.
"It's Great to be a Nashville Music Medic"
During our most recent visit to The Children’s Hospital @TriStar Centennial on Wednesday, October 12th, the Medics welcomed back our good friend Kelsey Bryant, CCLS, who had been out on maternity leave. We were able to provide some lovely handmade baby blankets for many of the children. One of our musical brothers, Tony Ivey, sent us the very generous donation of these beautiful blankets made by his talented mother, Sue. Our time there was so special and certainly one to remember.
As those of you who follow us know, it’s always a highlight to visit with the children and their families. On this particular day, we sang to a rather precocious little boy, who told us how much he liked our singing, and then told us he’d had enough. We were uplifted by the sincere "Thank You"s from all the parents in the Pediatric ICU.
After completing our rounds at the hospital, we continued our day over at ALIVE Hospice. There, our newest Medic, Dick Percy, Professor of Education, Emeritus, at Vanderbilt, came face to face with Dr. Sharon Shields a colleague from their time spent on faculty, as we went to sing in her sister's room. What a happy surprise! We rallied behind and celebrated with our brother Dick Percy, when he reunited with a faculty colleague from years gone by.
The peace and comfort we try to provide the families at ALIVE and Children’s Hospital has filled our own souls with the knowledge that we truly are on a mission of mercy and love.
Thank you all for allowing us to serve you!
Every One Deserves a Song at ALIVE Hospice
Before the Nashville Music Medics started their visit with the residents at ALIVE Hospice on 28 September, Lynn Edtl, Volunteer Coordinator, asked us if we would mind stopping by to sing a song for long time employee, Martha, ALIVE’s, Team Coordinator.
In fact, we actually serenaded Martha with two songs. The Medics sang her our favorite song, the “Martha song,” and then, we made sure she was our sweetheart while singing, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”
You can tell by the smiles on our faces that everyone enjoyed our visit with Martha. What a sweet lady!
During a regular visit to The Children’s Hospital @TriStar Centennial on Wednesday, September 21st, the Medics were met by Sidney Cantalupo, CCLS, our host for our time with the children and families. As we were into our routine warm-ups Sidney asked if we could do something special for her and sing a song to her sister (who was in Texas). Of course we were quite willing to accommodate with singing of the "Callie Song", which not by coincidence is Sidney's sister. We sang. Sidney sent the video to her sister. Sister Callie reacted almost immediately, before we began our rounds.
|YouTube Video URL:|
“Nashville Music Medics heal through Song”
was originally written for a segment of “Latest News” following our visit at AliveHospice on August 17th 2022. What we did not have at that time was the link to the two interviews with Liz Haas, Director of Communications & Marketing, at AliveHospice. This was the first time we had met Liz and she accompanied us on our patient and family visits.
While we were taking a brief break in the Chapel at AliveHospice, Liz asked about the history of Nashville Music Medics. Our assembled group directed her to Wayne Jackson since Wayne had taken the lead in coordinating our scheduling and had been instrumental in organizing Music Medics around the country on behalf of the Barbershop Harmony Society. This interview was a good overview, we agreed, and is worth sharing here. Wayne's interview is captured below.
After talking with Wayne she asked about the outreach with AliveNashville and her attention turned to Sam English since Sam had been instrumental in the AliveHospice outreach.
and here's Sam:
|YouTube Video URL:|
The Nashville Music Medics once again shared the healing power of music with the children, families and staff at The Childrens' Hospital at TriStar Centennial, Nashville, on August 31st, 2022. Although our numbers were slightly reduced due to absences, we were more than ably represented by Bill Munn, Doug Wooten, Sam English, Marty Monson and Paul Wietlisbach.
On this visit we were accompanied by Lorin May, Editor of the Barbershop Harmony Society publication, “The Harmonizer,” for a future feature about the BHS Music Medics Program. Thanks to Lorin and the patients’ families, we were able to capture some poignant moments with Savannah, Azlynn & her Mom, and brothers Mannen & Bear. Bear was even wearing his Toy Story “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” t-shirt which of course was a great segue into the singing of our signature song. Azlynn’s mom told us, “That’s the most she has smiled since she has been in the hospital.”
Our final stop of the day was in Pediatric Emergency Dept. where we sang a couple songs to a young patient and her family. As we were leaving the ED, we once again saw Dr. Matt Jaeger, who we met on our August 17th visit. During that visit we discovered that Dr. Jaeger had sung some Barbershop music while in college. He had requested and was entertained with “Sweet Adeline” by the Medics; however, at this visit Dr. Jaeger joined us in singing “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South.”
(The doctor suggested next time we could teach him some more words! We can do that!)
And be sure to enjoy the celebratory post by TriStar Centennial Childrens' Hospital on their Facebook page.
Nashville Music Medics heal through Song
OK, they're not doctors and very few actually work in the medical field. But the Nashville Music Medics sure do bring a lot of healing by singing some ah-MAZING a cappella songs in hospitals and hospices. Their harmonies are spot on and the energy is incredible.
I got to tag along Wednesday as the troupe — all older professional dudes, most of them retired — slapped on their signature blue scrubs and hit Alive Hospice in Nashville.
I found this outing particularly moving, as their first patient — 78-year-old Anita Corwin of Goodlettsville — was unresponsive after having a stroke earlier in the week. The guys brought lots of joy to Anita's son, daughter and granddaughter.
Anita's daughter, Tamie Moshier of Goodlettsville, smiled during the entire three-song performance.
"I loved every minute of it," she said. "It made me happy and not so sad being in hospice."
"I'm overwhelmed by it," her son, Greg Corwin, a mechanic from MIllersville, said with a huge smile on his face. "It lifts the spirits of those who are grieving right now."
As for his mother, "I think she absorbed some of it through her subconscious," Greg said. "I'm sure she liked it as well."
Troupe leader G. Wayne Jackson said the singers get more out of it than the patients for whom they sing.
"It’s joy, pure joy, because we know we’ve done something good, and we’re part of something special," he said.
Brad Schmitt / The Tennessean
“Finding Singers Where They’re Least Expected”
You just never know where you’ll find another singer!
As The NashvilleMusic Medics finished up their August 17 visit to The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Cenennial, the wonderful staff in the Emergency Dept. asked us to stop by and serenade them. While we sang, we noticed the good Dr. Matt Jaeger appeared quite interested in what we were doing. We found out that he had sung Barbershop music at college and asked if we knew and could sing Sweet Adeline. We said we did, but we’d only sing it if he joined in!
Well, Dr. Jaeger, stepped up and sang a solid melody line along with the Medics. After much applause, and back slapping, while waiting for the smile to leave his face, Dr. Matt told us how much he missed singing our style of music. We quickly invited him out to an upcoming practice with our Music City Chorus brothers and we assured him, he’d be welcomed and that he would certainly have a great time singing the music he loves as much as we do!
You just never know where you’ll find another singer!
Nashville Music Medics Meet With Families to Assist With Comfort
The Nashville Music Medics once again visited the AliveHospice residential facility in Nashville on July 20th, fully anticipating we could once again provide some care and comfort for a few residents. Our Director of Volunteer Services, Renee Wisby, LMSW, met us when we arrived. She was accompanied by Music Therapist, Catherine Wilson, and Lynn Edtl, Volunteer Coordinator. After a few minutes of greetings (including a favorite song, “The Catherine Song” for Catherine) we moved through the facility accompanied by these wonderful staff members as we provided our four-part Barbershop Harmony for the selected patients and families. One of the patients we met and sung for was in the caring company of her daughter, Treva, and Treva’s husband. Everyone who gathered in the room, as well as just outside the door, was genuinely touched and appreciative of the “gift” we try to give through our music. Treva graciously consented to a photo memory as we all gathered around her Mother before we left the room. Treva’s eyes and gentle touch communicate the tenderness and compassion.
The Director of Volunteer Services, Renee Wisby, LMSW, for Alive Hospice, Nashville, met us when we arrived. She was accompanied by Music Therapist, Catherine Wilson, and Lynn Edtl, Volunteer Coordinator. After a few minutes of greetings (including a favorite song, “The Catherine Song” for Catherine) we moved through the facility accompanied by these wonderful staff members as we provided our four-part Barbershop Harmony for the selected patients and families.
We learned that Catherine's father had sung Barbershop Music while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force.
After concluding our patient visits, Catherine requested "The Emily Song" (quite similar to "The Catherine Song sung earlier) be sung so she could send it to her Mother. Of course, we were able to joyfully accommodate that request.
|YouTube Video URL:|
Nashville Music Medics and One Cool Customer
It’s not everyday the Nashville Music Medics run across a character as cool as Joseph! But, that’s what happened during our second visit to ALIVE Hospice. After a warm greeting from Renee Wisby, LMSW, Director of Volunteer Services, Lynn Edtl, Volunteer Coordinator, and Catherine Wilson, Music Therapist, we set off to bring some comfort to the residents and their loved ones. During our last visit of the day we met Joseph, who was engaging, fun to talk with and just an all around great guy with a great family. We’re pretty certain that he was into music as it was mentioned to us that one of his grandchildren went to Belmont University for music education. Joseph was quite happy to have us to sing to him, as well as include him in a group picture.
Joseph donned his hat and slid into his best Frank Sinatra pose, as well as letting us know he really enjoyed what we sang. All in all a really great day at ALIVE Hospice. The Nashville Music Medics look forward to their next visit. Because, You just never know who you’ll meet along the way…..
Nashville Music Medics Receive a Very Special Gift
Every Nashville Music Medic, to a man, will tell you that we often receive so much more than we ever give to the patients and their families. On 20 July, when we arrived for our visit to The Children’s Hospital @TriStar Centennial, we were greeted warmly by Mary Bueche, CCLS. She quickly became part of the Music Medics family with her warm and cheery personality. Mary took the time to make every child feel special, paving the way for the Medics to do what we do best - bring smiles to the “kiddos,” and their parents’ faces.
That care given to each child brought us to the room of a cheery, happy, 4-year old little girl. After Mary explained to her what we did, this young lady asked us if she could sing us a song. Needless to say, we were quite surprised by the request, as we are the ones usually doing the serenading. In a tiny sweet little voice she sang “The Goodness of God.” It took all of the Medics a few minutes to compose ourselves and after several songs for this lovely little girl, she again asked if she could sing us another song.
What happened next was nothing short of a miracle as she sang “Jesus Loves Me This I Know.” The look of belief on her face was angelic, as we could tell she believed what she sang. We were left in a puddle and thanked her for the beautiful song. The Medics considered themselves lucky to be there and are so thankful for the special gift we were given, by this little angel.
Nashville Music Medics Come ALIVE!
Just when you think it can’t get any better being a Nashville Music Medic, our time spent singing at the ALIVE Hospice Residence in Nashville on 22 June, completely overwhelmed us. On this particular Wednesday, we started our day by singing for the children at The Children’s Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial. As always our time with the children was certainly rewarding.
There was a warm reception, and an obvious excitement for the Medics being there at ALIVE, as we were enthusiastically greeted by the Director of Volunteer Services, Renee Wisby, LMSW, pictured with us. The interaction and reaction from some of the residents was nothing short of life-changing. The smiles and expressions of “Thanks”, touched each of us. One sweet lady even likened us to sounding as good as the “Gaithers.”
The Medics thought it was an audition, but were surprised to learn the staff only wanted to see how the residents reacted to us. They were well pleased and have invited us back to sing any time we want. Of course we accepted their gracious invitation and plan to return sometime in July.
It’s Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!
"This Is Why We Sing"
The reason why we’re Music Medics and “Why We Sing”, was evidenced by the smile on this little guy’s face when we sang to him outside of the Emergency Dept. in The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. It was a relatively short day on 8 June, due to some unforeseen problems during our visit. So rather than bore you with all of those details, I thought I would answer the question posed in the title of our article
Obviously, we sing for the precious children and their families when we visit each and every time, but while sitting at my desk going through pictures, and trying to figure out what to write, I received an email from one of our Medics (Paul Weitlisbach) thanking Sam English (photographer), for all the work he did during our visit.
That email as well as some replies to Paul, poignantly reminded us all why we sing:
Paul started by saying, “I want to share something:
I sing in 7 different groups. 2 quartets, a Jazz band, MCC, a classical music quintet, my church choir and (of course) Nashville Music Medics.
My absolute favorite is NMM. Y'all understand why. My heart sank yesterday when we heard we had NO representation by the Child Life Specialist staff due to illness. Yet, the pure goodness of what we do triumphed.
I believe I saw the Good Lord's hand yesterday. Even without any setup or support, we sang for four (4) beautiful little children and helped enrich their lives and the lives of their parents.
Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful ministry.
As I watch what is happening to our poor old world, I am SO proud to help, just a little teeny bit. I love you guys! Thank You! “
Sam English relayed his feelings to Paul and the rest of us as – “I have often said that the NMM is the most meaningful thing I have done in 34 years of BHS, SPEBSQSA ... and beyond.”
The group's Maestro, Chuck Hamilton, told us - “I couldn’t agree more with Paul’s heartfelt comments. It truly is a mission of mercy and love, and I am so proud of this group.”
Needless to say more but, this is Why We Sing!
(All comments and photographs Used by Permission)
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| Nashville Music Medics Honor America|
On May 27, the Nashville Music Medics were invited to sing the National Anthem at the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Boys Soccer Finals, at Siegel Soccer Complex. What a thrill it was to raise our voices in song to honor America during this special holiday weekend !!!
Prior to the start of the match between Page High School and Valor Prep, the Medics were able to take pictures with Assistant Executive Director of TSSAA, Mark Reeves, and the referee crew (Kevin Arsenault, Andrew Wilkins, Lauren Gray, and Tony Moran). The Medics appreciated the enthusiastic crowd response to our singing, and we left feeling uplifted from the experience.
Memories like this make it “Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!”
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|How Many Medics Does it Take……|
The question must be asked - How Many Medics Does it Take to Deliver a Baby Gift? The answer is at least 11, when the Nashville Music Medics showed up to sing for the kids at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial,. The Medics presented Kelsey Bryant, CCLS, with a baby blanket and a gift card, as she awaits the arrival of her baby in late July. Needless to say, she was quite surprised and after the smiles and pictures, the Medics were off to sing for the precious children.
These visits are always so heart-warming for the patients, their families and the Medics, that it’s sometimes difficult to put into words. Our visit on May 25, 2022 was made even more special when we were able to sing Brahms Lullaby from two sweet infants.
The smiles grow even bigger when the children hear their name mentioned in a song. More fun is had when the older children are asked one of our famous “Dad Jokes,” and they guess the right answer. What ever the case, the Medics leave with their hearts bursting with joy, as we say our good-byes and head home to our families to get ready for the next visit.
Memories like this make it “Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!”
Updating the previous News Item from May 13, 2022, our new band-mate Sidney Cantalupo led us on a trek around the hospital to the departments where we were to visit on May 11, 2022. She had a brisk and definitive pace. At time we found ourselves "jockeying" for position!
The below link explains the "Stop, I'm Breathin' Heavy"!
Nashville Music Medics Out Spreading Joy!
The Nashville Music Medics and their new band mate, Sydney Cantalupo, were out spreading joy on 11 May, singing for their “kiddos” at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial.
The smiles were plentiful as we wandered through the PICU, the Oncology Dept. and the General Ward, singing our special brand of music. We asked the question, “Do you know what makes the medicine go down?” NOPE! They didn’t know. We told them - “Just a Spoonful of Sugar” followed, of course, by singing “Spoonful”.
We even threw in a new “Dad Joke” to help keep those smiles on their faces or groans by the Staff and Medics.
“Why did the strawberry baby cry?” “Because her Mom was in a jam!”
Grin or groan? Take your pick!
What a great day! It truly is “Great to be a Nashville Music Medic!”
Nashville Music Medics to appear on MCC Spring Show “Barberroo 2022”
Nashville Music Medics is thrilled and pleased to announce that we have been offered and have accepted a spot to sing on the “Barberroo 2022” show being presented by the Music City Chorus on April 23, 2022, 3:00pm, at the Nashville School of the Arts.
Our own resident quartet, No Green Bananas, will also be singing.
Music City Chorus has always been known for promoting quartet singing and is presenting nine quartets as well as featuring a guest Sweet Adeline quartet
"Don't Call Me Shirley"
For more information about the show and tickets go to .
In celebration of National Barbershop Quartet Day, April 11th, NMM joined with "No Green Bananas" to share our music with the residents of Somerby-Franklin, Franklin, TN.
We presented our program at two different locations in the facility and we discovered many of the residents and staff had never been provided with the opportunity to hear this style of close four-part harmony. They were entertained. They smiled. They sang along. They laughed (with us). We noticed that a few of the attendees were bold enough to take in the second performance as well! We even had a hearty soul venture into a tag after the second program.
As evidenced by the video shared here we had a great day with many new friends at Somerby.
Four additional videos are uploaded individually. Follow the supplemental items with similar title.
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Everyone also enjoyed You've Got a Friend in Me (although the intro was missed by the videographer).
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And everyone seemed to enjoy "Under the Boardwalk" by No Green Bananas, especially with the surprise choreography by the Nashville Music Medics !
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As we were nearing the conclusion of our time together with the fine folks at Somerby-Franklin, our guests were genuinely entertained as we demonstrated the remarkable experience of a “push-out quartet” !
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After two shows of approximately 50 minutes each (and approximately 10 minutes between the two), we shared with everyone how much this music means to each of us, to our Nashville Music Medics ensemble and to No Green Bananas quartet by closing each of our performances with “Keep the Whole World Singing”.
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Finally! Let the Fun Begin Again
On April 6, after many months away, the Nashville Music Medics were once again allowed to come and visit our friends and “kiddos” at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. And yes, everyone was smiling behind those masks. We started our day with a visit to the Pediatric ICU, singing for the patients and the nurses, and where we wanted to make sure they were included in the fun! Of course our day wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Children’s Oncology unit where, even with everything a little guy was going through, he was still happy and smiling.
We finished our day with a visit to the Pediatric ED. Everywhere we visited, the nurses and patients were just as happy to see us as we were to see them. By the end of the day, we were musically,
“Sittin’ on Top of the World!
It Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!
A Moment to Pause for Nurses
The Pediatric ED is rarely on our pre-determined visitation schedule because we never know who may be new arrivals or awaiting care. Fortunately Pediatric ED is on our exit route to the parking areas and our hostess/guide, Sydney Cantalupo, Certified Child Life Specialist, was more than willing to check on this one final opportunity for patient visits.
While awaiting the clearance to visit a couple of new patients in the Pediatric ED, we took the opportunity to serenade the nursing staff with “Nurses, We Love You” to the tune of one of our favorites, “Honey, Little Lize”. Much to our surprise, we received this video taken by Andrew Kilby, RN, who was among those nurses. The video had initially been posted on Facebook by his proud father, Duane Kilby.
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Nashville Music Medics Are Gettin' Ready to Sing!
After an “extended vacation” from singing and rehearsing, the Nashville Music Medics
resumed rehearsals on March 31st, with great attendance, in order to return to singing
for our “kiddos”at Tri-Star Centennial Children’s Hospital in April.
So that we can safely return to sing, we have confirmed with Children’s Hospital the protocols
the hospital has requested we must adhere to. First, we all must have had our flu shots, and our
COVID vaccinations. Plus, we’re also required to “mask up” in order to sing for these
After many handshakes and hugs, we got to singing, and let me tell you it was great to hear
those chords ring again. We were put through our paces by our very own Maestro,
Chuck Hamilton, although it was well worth it. Smiles prevailed all evening and after a good
workout from singing, we said our good-byes and parted ways until we gather again next week
with those “kiddos”.
If you have any questions about how to start a Music Medics program in your chapter contact Wayne Jackson, Nashville Music Medics, BHS Representative ()
by Wayne Jackson for NMM
|A Facebook reminder, three years ago today. |
On March 29, 2019, the Nashville Music Medics had been delivering our songs and smiles to the children in TriStar Centennial Children’s Hospital in Nashville.
When we completed those visits a few of us continued with a side trip to visit one of our Music City Chorus brothers, Tommy Mitchell, in a local rehabilitation facility in a neighboring community.
Tommy had been involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident a few days earlier. Although he is a great bass singer and a former director of the chorus in Athens, AL, Tommy did not feel much like doing any breathing exercise in order to sing a tag with us! We understood. We sang. He smiled.
Tommy is doing well in 2022 and has joined three of the Medics to occasionally sing the National Anthem at local sporting events as “The Hooligans of Harmony”
Music Medics Celebrate “Everything”
The Nashville Music Medics celebrate just about everything - warm weather, good food, but most importantly, just being able to get together and sing. Seven hearty Medics got together for a sing and a BBQ on October 9, and you can tell by the smiles on their faces that a good time was had by all.
The Medics are learning a new song, a sweet lullaby - “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins, as well as preparing for their upcoming virtual Christmas video project. The Christmas video will be super special this year as they will be joining their voices with all of the Music Medics across the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Nashville Music Medics Making New Friends
The Nashville Music Medics were out and about again making new friends at The Children’s Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial. Our first stop of the day found a young man who is familiar with our style of singing. When we asked why, he told us his brother sings with the Mammoth Cave Men in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, which is just up the road from Nashville’s Music City Chorus. You never know do you!?
The Medics sang a few songs, told a few Dad Jokes, and even coaxed him to sing a tag. Our new friend promptly nailed the familiar lead post to “Behind.” We’re hoping he gets well soon so he can come on out and join the fun with us here in Nashville. Believe it or not we were all smiles behind our masks. Once again, the Medics proved they’re “Changing The World One Smile at a Time.”
If you have any questions about how to start a Music Medics program in your chapter contact Wayne Jackson, Nashville Music Medics, BHS rep. ()
With One of Our Patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
The Nashville Music Medics visit and sing to a lot of children, however, there’s one in particular who stole all of our hearts away on a cold winter’s day when we visited 8-month old Eve Amroun at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. We were invited by her Dad, Karim Amroun, to sing for Eve after a rather serious operation, and as a rule we never really hear what happens to these precious children after their stay. However, this time we wanted to find out how little Eve was doing and what we found was pretty miraculous.
During the afternoon of December 18, 2019, The Nashville Music Medics,were finished their singing during one of their Christmas visits to the “kiddos” and their families at a different children’s hospital here in Nashville, and on the way home stopped in to visit Eve. She was an alert and happy baby who was well on the road to recovery from a liver transplant operation. Not only were Eve and her parents happy that we stopped in to sing, but word has it her older brother would often sing to her after she returned home as a way to make Eve feel better.
There’s no doubt in our minds that Eve has fully recovered as you can see by the happy smile on her sweet face. Memories like this make it “Great to Be a Nashville Music Medic!”
Nashville Music Medics Providing Smiles All Around
How much fun can the Nashville Music Medics have? At least this much during our warm-up session yesterday July 28th at The Children's Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial, when we were visited by Devin Bradford, BHS Community Development Manager. Devin hung out with us while we performed for some very special patients. We let Devin tell you how much fun we have, especially after she saw the smiles on the children's faces. We're likely to make Devin an honorary Nashville Music Medic.
The Nashville Music Medics serve as a community outreach program. Many of the Medics are also members of The Music City Chorus, with a goal of bringing joy through our music to the children as well as their parents who are staying in the children's hospitals in and around Nashville. The Medics like to think of ourselves as Music Therapists, providing the best possible medicine there is - a smile and a song.
This BHS program is designed to be an ongoing, permanent project, as well as being easy to manage. Music Medics is loads of fun and incredibly rewarding for many people on many levels. First and foremost, it’s great for the young patients and their parents. The last thing they expect is to see people walk into their hospital room in scrubs and start singing them a fun and uplifting song, when all they are experiencing is the drudgery of hospitalization.
This BHS program is open to anyone whether you’re a member of BHS or not.
Recently, two more BHS Dixie Chapters have come forward and expressed an interest in starting a Music Medics Program in their chapters - The Big Chicken Chorus, and The Sound Of Tennessee.
Ask yourself, “What better way is there to start your day than by bringing some joy to and by putting smiles on the faces of those wonderful children. The Medics always come away from their singing visits feeling uplifted by the joy they’ve experienced just from singing a few happy songs. There’s no doubt that music has the power to bring joy and happiness to every one they meet.
Why not be part of the movement that is “Changing the World Once Smile At a Time.”
If you’re interested in starting a Music Medics program in your chapter, please contact Wayne Jackson and the BHS Music Medics Team at
|Hopscotch between Songs|
In July 2021 we were once again back into Tri-Star Centennial Children’s Hospital, after a Coronavirus induced absence in February 2020. ChildLife Specialist, Kelsey Bryant, was escorting us from floor-to-floor, Department-to-Department, patient-to-patient, when we encountered a perplexing diagram on the floor when we were on the way to Pediatric Emergency Department. What we soon recognized on the floor was the popular playground game of Hopscotch.
Much to the chagrin of some of the Music Medics, Kelsey informed us that passage in this corridor required the customary hopping or jumping through the spaces. Fortunately, it did not require bending to pick up a marker and it was only a one-way requirement. Some of us were more proficient that others but we all passed the test.
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Nashville Music Medics Bring Smiles to Centennial Children’s
We know it’s difficult to see, but behind those masks, the Nashville Music Medics and Child Life Specialist, Kelsey Bryant, are all smiles on our return to sing for the children at The Children’s Hospital at Tri-Star Centennial.
On July 7, after many months of necessary absence, The Nashville Music Medics resumed their music ministry for seriously ill children and their families. They pulled on their scrubs, warmed-up their vocal chords, engaged their smiles, and brought plenty of happy sounds to their “kiddos” and the nursing staff. Once again, the Medics proved they’re “Changing The World One Smile at a Time.”
If you have any questions about how to start a Music Medics program in your chapter contact Wayne Jackson, Nashville Music Medics, BHS rep. ()
Nashville Music Medics Are Gettin’ On The Road Again!
“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with our friends, just can’t wait to get on the road again!”
That’s exactly what Willie Nelson sang and what the Nashville Music Medics did on June 14th, as we gathered for the first time since February 2020, in order to prepare for our return to sing for the children at Centennial Children’s Hospital in early July.
So that we can safely return to sing, there are several things the hospital has requested we do. First, we all must have had our flu shots, and our COVID vaccinations. Plus, we’re also required to “mask up” in order to sing for these precious children.
Please check with your local hospitals to see if they have any additional requirements before you return to sing. If you have any questions about how to start a Music Medics program in your chapter contact Wayne Jackson, Nashville Music Medics, BHS Representative ()
We’re the best of Friends, and our way is on the road again!
Nashville Music Medics - How it All Began!
While attending the Saturday Night Show at the 2018 Orlando International, I watched a video about the BHS Music Medics program. The video told me about the inspirational work a group of singers from the Miamians was doing through their singing to the children in the local Children’s Hospitals. My wife and I thought this would be a great service to provide, and since I was retired, I had some time to see if this would work in Nashville.
I talked with my Chorus leadership about the idea and they said, “That’s a great idea, as long as you run the program.” So I sent out an email to the chorus looking for interested singers; and as they say, “The rest is history,” as the Nashville Music Medics were born in early 2019. Since then, the fun hasn’t stopped. We’ve made several virtual recordings for our local children’s hospital, and had several news stories air on local TV. Most importantly, all of the Nashville Music Medics will agree, that singing for the children is the most rewarding thing all of us have ever done during our Barbershop careers.
(Edit: Author, Wayne Jackson, Dreamer-Nashville Music Medics)
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