As the holiday season approaches, now is the perfect time to find creative and innovative ways to use your talents to enrich the lives of others. And no matter where you live, there are several ways musicians can do just that. All it takes is a bit of creativity and willingness. The experienced musician and philanthropist Martin Backhausen offers a few engaging and impactful ways for musicians to give back to their local community through community service.
Volunteer at Assisted Living Facilities
Although everyone can feel lonely, depressed, and afraid at times, those feelings tend to increase during the holidays, especially in assisted living facilities. As a musician, however, you can use your talents to alleviate these hardships for others and potentially yourself (if applicable). And music therapy has proven to offer enormous benefits.
Martin Backhausen explains, “Research even shows that music can help improve memory in those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.” You can use your talent and passion to bring tremendous joy to those in assisted living facilities. At the same time, you can even visit the bedside of patients, offering one-on-one attention to help possibly turn the worst day around.
Play at Fundraisers & Community Events
Music is, and always has been, a remarkable way to get people out to participate. This is why so many event organizers welcome musicians to the stage. Backhausen continues, “Playing at a local community event or fundraiser is the perfect way to give back. Get started by choosing a charity with values that are closely aligned with your own. If you love animals, contact your local animal shelter or similar organization and let them know you’re available.” In addition to helping the charity, it could also help give you additional exposure, which is always a goal as a musician.
Donate Your Time to Public Schools and Music Programs
It’s no secret that music programs are being cut from school budgets nationwide. While disappointing and detrimental to art, removing music programs from schools creates an opportunity for you to give back. “Get started by reaching out to the existing or former music teacher and offer your services. If there is no music teacher, simply reach out to the principal and express your interest in hosting a workshop. And if all else fails, consider working with the PTA to offer an after-school program or to hold a fundraiser,” said Martin Backhausen.
Donate Your Old Instruments
You have most likely accumulated a few different instruments in your journey as a musician. Another excellent way to give back to the local community is to donate your old instruments. Martin Backhausen explains, “You most likely don’t use the same instruments that you started out with. And just because you no longer use and play these instruments doesn’t mean they lose their value. Consider donating your instruments to underserved communities and children. This simple act can remove some of the financial burdens from educational facilities and community centers to encourage more interest in music education.”