As the original Bedside DJ, I created a patient care approach in a local hospital to provide free patient selected music by using a smart phone and a Blue Tooth external speaker. I have given hundreds of hours of service, while enriching the lives of patients as they struggled to heal. This approach is easily transferable and allows other volunteers to provide music, companionship, and conversation in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care with dignity and compassion. My vision is to encourage other volunteers to join me in service to those in need. I continue to volunteer my time and effort freely and the rewards while not monetary, are bountiful. It has been my privilege and honor to serve in this way. I have found offering free patient requested music has proven an effective gateway to approach patients of various ages , races, and religions, rekindle memories and engage in conversation while maintaining dignity and respect for all. I encourage you to join me and ask that you contact me that I may help you on your journey. ( see below)
Do You Enjoy Music?
Do You Enjoy Helping Others?
Do You Want to Make a Difference?
Please come join me as a Bedside DJ.
Please use the Contact link (at the top of the website), or Subscribe (below) to express your interest. Someone will reach out to you help you get started on your journey. No musical talent is necessary. You should feel comfortable searching the internet on your device for music and have access to a Bluetooth speaker. Facilities are encouraged to reach out to establish their own free Bedside DJ service. This service is intended to remain a free grassroots volunteer effort. I am currently in Michigan and hope to encourage the expansion of the Bedside DJ Nationwide.
To serve as a Bedside DJ is a gift from the heart. The heart in the logo touches the “DJ” as a reminder to offer kind, compassionate, loving service to those in need. The DJ represents YOU when you are present at the patient’s bedside. The hospital bed is a reminder Bedside DJs serve those in a compromised state of health, some fighting for their very lives.
Bedside DJs are not music therapists.
Music therapy is an evidence based clinical use of musical interventions to improve clients’ quality of life.
Merriam Webster definition: therapy based on engagement in musical activities: the therapeutic use of music (as to reduce anxiety, improve cognitive functioning, promote physical rehabilitation, or enhance interpersonal communication) that typically involves listening to music, singing, playing musical instruments, or composing music. Music therapists have advanced clinical training and specialized skills.
Bedside DJs are volunteers who provide music, conversation, companionship, with compassion at bedside and receive no monetary compensation for their service.
One evening while working with a student volunteer we came upon a frail elderly 92-year-old woman sitting on the side of her bed in the dark. We knocked softly and were given permission to enter. After explaining we offered free music she replied “oh that would be lovely.” She furrowed her brow as she sifted through the years trying to remember a favorite song. A few of the lyrics came to mind and we realized she wanted the song “Have I told you lately that I love You”. The student quickly searched the internet on her smart phone, found the song by Rod Stewart, and began playing it through her Bluetooth speaker. The woman smiled, listened patiently to the song and thanked us when it ended. I sensed from her reaction something was amiss. I asked her, “that wasn’t the song was it?” She kindly smiled admitting it was not but remembered Elvis had sung the song she remembered. A quick internet search brought the Elvis version and her face was aglow as she reminisced while the song played. Then with a twinkle in her eye she said, “I have to tell you a story. My Husband was an avid reader. He would get so involved in his journals and newspapers I could not get his attention. That’s when I would walk right over to him and sit on his lap and newspapers and sing to him ‘have I told you lately that I love you?’”
While listening to the song one more time she put her hand over her heart and said, “It hurts” but reassured us it was a “good hurt.” She explained with a tear in her eye that she lost him many years ago. I said “you both must have been very much in love”. She smiled back with the most beautiful smile saying, “Yes, we were.”
One evening I encountered a patient from Nepal. She was not able to communicate in English and appeared anxious and withdrawn. Fortunately she had some young visitors who understood my offer to provide free music. They were able to borrow my smartphone and locate " The Golden Voice of Nepal" to play for her. I was deeply moved to watch as she visibly relaxed to the familiar sounds of home. By bringing Nepal to her in this way it appeared as if her hospital room had briefly been transported to her home.
Hi, I'm John. I envisioned and created this patient care approach in the fall of 2016. I formally began serving patients in January of 2017 and named my approach the
Bedside DJ. It has been well received by patients and staff . Many patients have said, " this was the best part of my day".
Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”. Matthew 25:40 NRSVCE
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