A bedridden Le Bonheur patient receives a live performance in "Melodic Medicine."
There’s an old saying that music can soothe the soul. And research shows it can serve as a form of therapy — boosting the ability to reduce stress, depression, muscle tension, and other physical and psychological issues.
A new documentary highlights the positive impact music has on youth at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Entitled Melodic Medicine, the 12-minute film profiles local artists interacting with patients and providing them with intimate performances, along with a few smiles.
“We always complain about our daily lives — stuff we have going on,” said a member of Chinese Connection Dub Embassy during the documentary. “We don’t take the consideration to look toward others who have it a little worse than [we] do. We have to be thankful.”
Other artists who appear in the documentary are Cimberly Rene, William Charles, Danny Cosby, Vanessa Winter, and Frankie Hollie.
All of the aforementioned artists are involved with the Musicians for Le Bonheur project, a movement launched in 2010 by Memphian Justin Jaggers. Since its establishment, around 40 artists have come together annually to raise money for and awareness of Le Bonheur through a compilation album, as well as live performances. All of the proceeds raised from the endeavors go toward supporting Le Bonheur’s efforts in pediatric medicine. Thus far, the project has raised around $10,000 for Le Bonheur.
Since the 1950s, Le Bonheur has served Memphis children, and those throughout the Mid-South, refusing to turn away a patient no matter their financial status.
Melodic Medicine was created as part of this year’s Musicians for Le Bonheur project. The film is narrated by WMC-TV Action News 5 morning reporter Amy Speropoulos and directed by Jaggers.
“I love coming down here and playing my guitar, and you can’t beat a smile of a kid,” said Frank Hollie in the documentary. “And when a kid smiles at you for playing something that they know or something that they like, it’s just very heart-touching.”