Ukulele Player Volunteers To Soothe & Cheer-Up Patients, Families At Vanderbilt Health

Posted at 8:49 AM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 09:50:33-04

Here in Nashville many musicians are hoping for their "big break." There's a lot of pressure to succeed, but some are also using their gifts to give back as therapy volunteers. 

"One morning I just woke up and wanted to play ukulele," said Charissa Hoffman. 

Hoffman is a college student and an aspiring musician. Once a week she takes an hour to sit and strum on her "fancy" ukulele.

"[I] play for people who are having a hard time," she said.

It doesn't take long for a crowd to gather with the old and the young. Some are patients and others are waiting on loved ones.

"I had one lady who told me that her husband was having a procedure and it was very unexpected. They came in from out-of-town and she was very stressed and uncomfortable about it. And she said just being able to sit and listen to the music and think about something else while that was happening was very soothing for her," Hoffman said. 

She says being a musician can get stressful. She is hoping to make a living and carve out a life doing what she loves. 

"I feel like a lot of people are focused on making a living. It's easy to get tunnel-vision and so for me this is what grounds me and reminds me why I do music. The purpose is to connect with people and to encourage them and to remind them that they're not alone," she said. 

Hoffman will be attending Berkley College of Music in Boston in the Fall. If you'd like to volunteer and share your talents, Vanderbilt is happy to speak with you. Click here for more information.