You’ve been practicing and taking music lessons for a while. Are you looking for your next musical challenge? Playing with other musicians is one of the quickest ways to improve, and with National Volunteer Week coming up (April 21-27, 2013), why not make a impact in your community by volunteering your talents?
Here are some ideas to get you started…
Volunteer at events and galas
Non-profit or community events always need entertainment! Often these events are for great causes, and it’s also an awesome way to get your name out there, network, and find new fans! If you’re already part of a group or band, try reaching out to specific organizations and expressing your interest in helping out. Better yet, why not organize your own benefit concert?
Volunteer with specific organizations
There are tons of organizations and non-profits that deal specifically with the music industry and music education. The San Diego Music Foundation, for example, coordinates several events throughout the year that require volunteer help. Their Guitars for Schools program provides Taylor guitars for San Diego-area elementary and middle schools for use in classroom and after-school music activities.
Musicians on Call is another amazing program that sends volunteer musicians to hospitals and other healthcare facilities to share the power of music. Its branches are located in New York, Nashville, Philadelphia, Miami, DC, and Los Angeles. Not in one of those major cities? Not to worry. VolunteerMatch.org is an awesome resource for finding organizations in your area that are looking for help!
Volunteer directly at hospitals or nursing homes
Music is used as a therapeutic tool in many hospitals and nursing homes across the country. Try contacting your local hospital to see if they’re accepting volunteer musicians. Opportunities at hospitals can range from performing to actually teaching music to patients. If you’re considering music therapy as a career path, try looking into internship positions, also!
Volunteer at festivals and concerts
Even if you don’t play an instrument, music fans can get involved with the community by volunteering at music festivals and concerts. If you’re interested in music promotions or event planning, you can learn a lot about this important part of the music industry, as well as connect with other music lovers!
Music is a huge part of many different religions, incorporated into worship services, religious ceremonies, and of course, weddings and funerals. Check with your congregation to see if there are opportunities to perform and help out. Piano and guitar are perhaps the most popular instruments found here, but solo opportunities exist for practically any musician, depending on your community’s style.
Photo by Mark Brannan