We see lots of posts this time of year with ideas for random acts of kindness:
"Smile at someone on the street"
"Say thank you to our service men and women"
"Tape change to a vending machine"
"Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through"
Treating each other with kindness and being intentional about the ways we serve others is important all year round, but the holidays are a good excuse to do a little something extra.
As musicians, we have the opportunity to treat people with kindness and spread a little holiday cheer by sharing the gift of music. After all, as Buddy the Elf says, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"
Today, I'm sharing 25 ideas for random acts of (musical) kindness. Some are easy enough to do on your own, others would work well with the help of a few friends, and others would be perfect group projects for your choir or studio!
25 Random Acts of Musical Kindness
- Send a singing gram. (Consider using Skype or FaceTime if the person lives far away.)
- Prepare some of your favorite music for a holiday benefit concert to support a local charity. Mix it up by inviting guests to bring toys, winter coats/hats, or canned food items.
- Go caroling to shut-ins' homes.
- Make an inspirational playlist to share.
- Say thanks to nurses and doctors at a local hospital by caroling and bringing cookies to share.
- Do a hymn-sing at a local nursing home or assisted living.
- Bring dinner to those who are alone for the holidays and sing a few of their favorite carols.
- Learn to play or sing someone's favorite song and surprise them with it.
- Put on an informal concert and livestream it for friends and family to see.
- Show your support for local service men and women by caroling at the station and bringing hot chocolate and cookies.
- Compose a short song/jingle to celebrate someone you love.
- Host a holiday sing-along. Gather around the piano and sing everyone's favorite hymns and carols.
- If you live in NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore/D.C., Nashville, L.A., or Miami, volunteer with Musicians on Call to deliver live, in-room performances to patients undergoing treatment.
- Dedicate a choir anthem or performance to someone who's going through a difficult time.
- Surprise someone with a phone call and impromptu performance from your living room.
- Teach someone how to play a simple song on the piano.
- Collect unused musical instruments from your community to donate to a school music program in need.
- Organize a flash mob somewhere in your community.
- Set up a "conduct us" stand in a local mall.
- Give your private students the gift of music - a piece of sheet music for a song they've been wanting to learn or a book on loan from your personal library.
- If you're a church musician, play an arrangement of a piece you know is meaningful to someone in the congregation.
- Turn your favorite song or hymn lyrics into a card to brighten someone's day (great activity for children!).
- Organize a few small house concerts and have your students play some of their favorite holiday music.
- Take your children's choir caroling at a local children's hospital.
- Compose an ode to a friend or family member by writing new lyrics for a familiar Christmas tune.
What random acts of kindness will you do this season? Which one is your favorite?