1-3-14 I played in the main hospital lobby for almost two hours today. I spoke with many people including a retired education professor and a student pursuing musical theater (at Mary Washington. This space was busier than usual, perhaps because of the sub-freezing temperatures outside.
1-2-14 While playing in the PICU, I met a 15 year old who was hit by a car while crossing a highway. His eyes were swollen shut but he was expected to recover fully. He told me about his guitar playing at church - he has been playing for about four years. His family informed me that his favorite band was Kings of Leon, whose opening band I toured with back in 2007. In short, we had lots to talk about. After that, they asked if I would play something for them in their room. I performed the prelude to Bach's first suite, which they seemed to recognize from TV commercials.
12-31-13 I met a security guard who is learning to play gospel piano. His son is a professional pianist in Denver. Since he is learning to read music, I had him watch my music as I played. He started to follow after a couple selections. I also met a man who was a drummer in his marching band. He is a poet and we recorded a few that he recited. He wanted “Amazing Grace” to be played while he recited the poems. A few people gathered around while we were recording.I played for the first time in the Cancer Center across the street.
12-27-13 I met a lady in the outpatient surgery waiting room whose husband was in surgery. I played duets with her for hours in the main lobby. Below is her account of the day, which she posted on Facebook that evening:
"While my husband was in surgery this past Friday, I waited in the 4th floor surgery waiting room. As I sat there I heard the beautiful sounds of a cello coming from one of the nearby halls. So I got up to find where this music was coming from and much to my delight found a young man, David Feldman, playing his cello as an effort to sooth the worries of those of us waiting. He is part of a new program at RMH, Resident Artists, that has musicians located all over the hospital playing their soothing music (music therapy!). I listened to this young man for a while and talked to him and discovered there was a piano in the main lobby. So..........he asked if I would like to go "jam"! So he and his cello, and I, went to the main lobby and played for a good 2 hours....everything from Christmas songs to Bach! What a wonderful gift music is.....I am so grateful for the gift God gave me and so grateful to the people who see it as such an important part of life. This young man plays in our Symphony and guess where he learned to play? Roanoke City Schools! I believe Dr. Keeley is the one responsible for this new program at RMH. Good Job!! Music touches the hearts of anyone who hears it....it IS the universal language! Thank you David Feldman for allowing me to escape my worry and sadness for a couple of hours and play music with you. You made a difference in one persons life. Keep doing what you do!"
I also met a young man today whose mother was brought to the ICU Christmas night. He is a college student and an aspiring pianist. He played for us in the lobby and it was remarkable what he had learned in just a couple months without any prior experience. I could see a lot of natural talent in him. Combined with his love for music, he could go far!
12-20-13 My wife, Meg, came with me to play guitar. We played Christmas tunes in the PICU. A little boy who is 8, said he wanted to learn to play piano. I spoke with him through the doorway since he could not come out of his room.