Launched in 2011, the project “Bringing music to hospitals” aims to promote music as a tool to reduce patients’ pain and relieve stress among medical staff.
The programme also includes talk shows, magic shows and comedy acts with the same aim: to bring smiles and offer patients a reprieve from their difficulties and pain.
One of the most enthusiastic artists who perform at hospitals, comedian Tra My spent four years taking care of her husband, a cancer patient. That’s why she sympathised with the pain and anxiety felt by patients and their families.
“When the organiser invites me, I always try to participate even if I have to cancel other work,” said My.
“The programme is very meaningful in that it brings joy to patients and medical staff, a special audience who is suffering pain and pressure.”
For bedridden patients who can’t attend the show, the artists come to their rooms and entertain them.
My and her partners bring smiles and cheer to patients and staff through comedy. Visiting each hospital, they try to perform a play in which the content is suitable to the hospital’s function and patient’s situation.
The project is also expected to serve as a bridge between the community and the health sector. It raises funds and support from organisations and communities.
All artists participating in the shows forego payment except for a small allowance for transportation and meals.
Singer Thái Thùy Linh, who initiated the project, said they don’t consider it performing. Instead, they bring music to hospitals in exchange for rare smiles.
“The programme has been a useful treatment for patients, their relatives and doctors,” she said.
"During the programme, we have seen many doctors put money in our donation box for their patients. People sitting in wheelchairs, walking on crutches and hooked up to intravenous drips also donate small amounts. They want to help people who are in worse conditions than them.”
At the end of the programme, the organiser donates all the money collected to underprivileged inpatients at the hospital.
Since its inauguration, the project has organised 150 concerts at hospitals across the country. What started as a mere idea has now turned into a successful programme, with more and more artists participating and performing for free, from leading pop stars like My Linh, My Le and Uyen Linh, to young talents such as Vu Huong Giang, who recently became famous for her performances of traditional music at Vietnam’s Got Talent this year.
The Ministry of Health, the Vietnam Union of Youth and enterprises have also supported the project.
This year, the organiser will hold 20 shows in Hanoi, 10 in Ho Chi Minh City and nine in provinces across the country.
A gala night will be organised in December to mark the project’s five-year anniversary. On that night, a singing contest called “Just the Two of Us” will be held for the second time, with the participation of singer and doctor duos.