The Power of Music: JoyRx Music Carts

At its core, music is medicine — and no one knows that better than our JoyRx Music Specialists. They witness a positive impact on the sick children they serve every day — drawing on the universal power of music to lift and energize spirits.

Our in-person bedside delivery is heavily supported by the JoyRx Music Carts, a lasting symbol of our transformative moments of Joy through melody. Keep reading to find out more about what these carts represent to the seriously ill kids we serve!

Joy on Wheels: What Are JoyRx Music Carts?

Our JoyRx Music Carts are a mobile storage system housing instruments for children during their hospital stays. Each cart is filled with a variety of musical tools — ukuleles, keyboards, drums, egg shakers, and more — for kids to choose from. When visiting the hospital, our music specialists go from room to room, asking each child if they’d like to enjoy music that day and what they’d like to experience.  

Kids and teens can choose to watch a live music session played just for them, request a specific song, engage in a sing-along, participate in music lessons, or grab an instrument to play along — whatever feels right and brings Joy to them in that moment.

What is the impact for sick kids?

For seriously ill kids, music carts are more than just a storage system — they stand for much-needed, much-cherished Joy.

“The impact music has is valuable and integral to the healing process,” said Rebekah Coles, Child Life Manager at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. “We are so grateful for JoyRx’s flexibility and support, especially these past two years, where in-person activities were limited.”

Another Portland hospital partner shared, “It is so wonderful having the Music Specialists in the units and at bedside. It’s starting to feel a little more normal again — and there is just more Joy in the air.” 

In Austin, children are experiencing in-person music for the first time. October 2022 marked the launch of in-person delivery in Texas, following the establishment of our satellite office last spring. New JoyRx branded Music Carts are roaming the halls of Dell Children’s Medical Center, lending transformational musical moments of Joy for the children who need it most.

“The music carts provide a convenient way to offer many kinds of instruments to children,” said JoyRx Music Specialist, Christy Medley. “Recently, after singing several songs with a teenage girl, I offered her a ukulele. She had never played one, and she was fascinated by it.”

Christy showed her new friend the basics of playing the ukulele before moving on to another child in the hospital. Later that afternoon, however, Christy made sure to check in on the girl. 

“She was changing between chords with ease and making up her own songs!” said Christy. This interaction is just one of many Christy has in a day, watching children as they find new ways to experience the power of music.

“It’s great to have the music cart nearby,” she said. “I can grab a shaker, drum, or ukulele for a child who wants to join in the music-making. The different variety of instruments makes a huge difference, too. I love seeing how kids become relaxed or excited while playing.” 

It’s more than just the music carts, of course. It’s what they represent and what the JoyRx Music Specialists offer children. 

While children might not directly interact with the music carts themselves, they’re a pathway to Joy, ushered in by the music specialists who travel the hallways, always ready to brighten a child’s day through the power of our programming.

Lifting Spirits one Song at a Time

Children feel Joy in the healing power of music one guitar strum, one ukulele pluck, one beat of a drum at a time. For the kids we serve, respite comes with a symphony of Joy, wheeled down the hallway in a music cart. 

Your support makes music carts possible and allows children to find their Joy across Portland, Austin, and beyond. We have plans to expand further: building, supplying, and stocking new music carts for our growing number of pediatric partners, reaching more children who need it.

To support us in our mission to reach more children with the power of music, give the gift of Joy today and help create more music in the world!  

Give the Gift of Joy

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