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Hospital Ward Visits

Neil Chan Music Community Outreach Singapore Hospital Ward Visit

Spreading joy through music

In collaboration with Sengkang Health (SKH), I have organised numerous trips to hospital wards for the simple act of bringing joy through music to the lives of patients. These outings are designed to be as accessible as possible - there are no musical requirements for participants to join, and all that is required is a passion and desire to sing and play to brighten someone else's day. 

As a team we usually come equipped with a repertoire of lively songs spanning a variety of languages depending on the demographic of each hospital ward. We also bring a variety of musician instruments - including our voices! Small percussion such as shakers, and maracas can be distributed to the patients for them to join in on the music making. 

Neil Chan Music Community Outreach Singapore Hospital Ward Visit

More than just making music

There is, however, much more to it than simply music-making. Music is a means to connect with the patients - often across language and age barriers. Relationships can be built within this short period of time, and we always make a point to communicate with the patients whenever possible. Be it an in-depth conversation or a simple question of asking how their day as been, there is much to learn as we open up our ears to listen to other people's stories. It has been humbling to put ourselves into their shoes for just a while.

As many of the patients are bed-ridden and unable to be transported to the common area, we make an effort to travel to each bed to play a tune for each patient. It has been incredibly rewarding to see these individuals faces light up and also often join in through singing or clapping. To reiterate - it's much more than the music itself, but the gesture and intention itself that counts.

Neil Chan Music Community Outreach Singapore Hospital Ward Visit

Coming back to well-being

At the end of the day, I've realised that these hospital ward visits provide myself and my team with immense joy, satisfaction and euphoria. As we stand at the taxi pickup spot waiting for transportation back home, we simply feel good. This goodness that we feel is exactly what I describe as well-being - the nourishing, refreshing and positive feeling from doing good unto others, even if it means making sacrifices. Even though we sang out of tune, forgot the lyrics and made poor logistical decisions along the way, all those minor errors didn't deter us from our primary intention - to show a little love to others through music. And this good feeling of ours doesn't mean that we set out simply to feel good about ourselves - that's why its always good to keep intentions in check. It was simply a by-product of positive outward action, and something that we should embrace and look forward to as it encourages and spurs us on toward giving up ourselves even more in service of others. I like to sum up well-being with these few goody statements:

It is good to do good unto others

It is good to feel good doing good unto others

It is ultimately good for you to do good unto others, despite sacrifices you may have to make

Of course, everything should be taken in moderation, and I'm not advocating for anyone to constantly make sacrifices for the sake of well-being that they neglect their own health and wellness. For a more in-depth explanation on the concept well-being, click here.

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