“We’re not going to places to give musical therapy,” said Cantu. “It’s more something that doesn’t really have any downsides. It makes people happy.”
Both Cantu and Weinstein felt there is a real need for their services in the Chapel Hill/Durham area.
“We believe that music can be very healing in a way. It makes (the patient’s) hospital visits a little bit nicer, or their time at the assisted living facility," Weinstein said. "It gives them a chance to escape.”
Cantu echoed Weinstein’s thoughts about the difference music can make in someone’s life.
“We respond to rhythm and music in really powerful ways,” she said.
Healing Hands strives to be a fun, easy way to help people in the Chapel Hill/Durham area. UNC student Hannah Bridges has volunteered with Healing Hands several times since its founding. Bridges encouraged anyone who’s interested to come out and volunteer.
“If you love music, then you’re perfect for this," she said. "If you can just go share your love for music with people they can totally pick up on that.”
Cantu and Weinstein both emphasized that most of their first semester this school year has been spent testing the waters to see how best to run their organization. During the second semester, they plan to schedule even more opportunities to play music for patients in hospitals or assisted living facilities.
They are excited to begin expanding the type of students they recruit from just undergraduates at UNC to students at Chapel Hill High School and graduate students at UNC. Emily Michael, current UNC student and volunteer with Healing Hands, has high hopes for the organization's future.
“I feel like in the future it’ll be more diverse, as in there’s going to be a lot more places to play and opportunities,” she said.
Healing Hands don’t have members per se and they don’t have regular meetings, just an interest meeting at the start of each semester. They just want to connect musicians with deserving people who will truly appreciate what they have to offer.
“You’re sharing music with people who are really in need of it,” Bridges said.