I’m so disgusted and at times filled with despair for our world as the news screams of hatred, intolerance, violence, wars, and vicious public rants by would-be-“leaders”. How wonderful to pick up my phone at 7:15am on Monday and begin my week in conversation with a model of optimism and belief.
Meet Arthur Bloom, one of the Top Ten CNN Heroes of 2014 and founder of MusiCorps, an amazing program that puts musical instruments in the hands of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland.
A Julliard-trained musician, graduate from Yale, and contemporary composer, Arthur told me that the concept of “adaptive music” began when he visited a solder who had lost a leg and worried that he’d never be able to play the drums again.“We’ll just have to figure out a way for you to do that,” replied Arthur.
That statement cascaded into what is now a rehabilitative program that adapts instruments to vets who are missing limbs or have damaged hands. Under Bloom’s guidance, musicians volunteer as mentors, instruments are customized, and music becomes the discipline for bringing life and achievement to these men and women.They write, compose, study and practice—hours at a time.
“When they play, it’s not about being wounded. It’s about the music. Trauma plus time has created incredible musicians.”
The more I spoke to Arthur, the more I realized that he saw not brokenness but possibility. He didn’t hunker down and hide. He saw a need and continues to fill it…and he is very adamant that MusiCorps is not about him—it’s about the resilient efforts of the musicians.
Watch this video as a MusiCorps play with YoYo Ma.
You’ll strengthen your belief that good is in the world!