by Le Binh
HA NOI — Singer Thai Thuy Linh couldn't contain her happiness when she saw hundreds of patients and health workers tapping their toes and singing with artists in the main yard of the Viet Nam National Otorhinolaryngology Hospital last Friday.
Dynamic duo: A performance by singer Anh Tho and doctor Nguyen Tien Dung.
|Capture the moment: A patient takes a photo of his favourite singer. — Photos NSN Media
The singer made a surprise visit to help bring temporary relief to both patients and doctors, who rarely get to relax and enjoy music during their battles with pain, injury and disease.
In the first 15 minutes, the audience was treated to a laughing yoga performance by a team of volunteers from the National Economics University, before three young singers took to the stage with a melodic rendition of Oi Cuoc Song Men Thuong (Oh, Dear Life).
"The project is very significant to patients of the hospital. Both patients and staff are eager to welcome singers from the Bring Music to Hospitals Project," said hospital director Vo Thanh Quang, before expressing his interest in the performance of singer Trong Tan, one of the country's leading vocalists.
Tan is also the favourite singer of patient Nguyen Thi Hao, from the central province of Nghe An. Hao unfortunately had to watch Tan's performance away from the main stage due to an operation on her left ear.
"I've just had an operation on my ear so I need to avoid loud noises, but I really wanted to see my favourite singer," Hao said.
Tan performed two solo songs before joining with female singer Anh Tho in front of a packed crowd.
"I knew about the Bring Music to Hospitals Project but never had the chance to take part in it until now," said Tan. "This is the first time I've done it and I'm happy to entertain them."
Patients in more serious conditions who were unable to go out and join the fun were instead visited by the artists in their rooms. Recouperating from a tonsil operation that morning, Ngo Thu Ha, from the northern province of Tuyen Quang, couldn't speak but nodded her approval.
"It's great for patients to be able to listen to melodic songs that aren't accompanied by musical instruments," said Ha's mother.
The near three-hour performance saw funds raised for the hospital's patients.
"We don't perform, we bring music to the hospital to make patients laugh", is the slogan of the project, which has been carried out twice a month since last December.
The project was launched by singer Thai Thuy Linh after she visited the National Burns Hospital two years ago to give gifts to patients.
"One doctor joked that they envy the patients because nobody visits them. They see many artists come to the hospital and wish the artists sang for them too," Linh said.
"Doctors are stressed with their tasks such as working night shifts, while patients are worried about their diseases. And I thought about that a lot."
At the beginning Linh asked some of her close friends to sing at the hospital without musical instruments. Her idea has been supported by the Ministry of Health's Youth Union.
The Bring Music to Hospitals project has taken place at 17 hospitals in Ha Noi, connecting volunteers and sponsors to patients. It has been warmly received by patients and doctors, who enjoy being able to sing with the artists.
"The project is significant because music helps to ease stress and makes us stronger to serve patients wholeheartedly. The patients are happy to see their doctors performing as singers," said hospital director Quang. The project has made good use of music to reduce stress and relieve patients' pain, as well as encouraged health workers to do their jobs better, according to Ngo Thu Lan, a reporter from O2 Television.
It brings together about 100 singers in Ha Noi, and most of them want to come back.
"Absolutely, I will continue to sing at the hospitals if I'm invited to return," said singer Tan. "It would be better if the project is carried out at many other hospitals, too."
Project organiser and singer Linh said that she would bring the project to Nhi Dong Hospital and Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City on August 30 and 31.
"We feel so many emotions when singing at hospitals. When we sang among the audience around us I looked up around the building and saw many patients, including one in a wheelchair with transfusive equipment. That moment moved me very much," said Linh.
She hopes that the project will go to hospitals at all the cities and provinces in Viet Nam in 2013. – VNS