Concerts To Cure

A great song can touch your heart, punch you in the gut, raise your sprits and provoke laughter and tears in a matter of minutes. But there’s something else a great song can do – heal – and a Seattle-based nonprofit is on the hunt for artists who care about musical therapy and want to use their talents to help kids suffering from serious illness.
Levi Ware, founder of the Melodic Caring Project, proudly shows how his live concert stream works.

Melodic Caring Project – Levi Ware, founder of the Melodic Caring Project, proudly shows how his live concert stream works..

The Melodic Caring project, founded by singer-songwriter Levi Ware and his wife, Stephanie, streams live personal concerts to children and teens in the hospital.

The idea struck Ware when he performed a benefit for a young girl that was diagnosed with leukemia.

At show time, more than 300 people from the community had gathered to support the girl, who’d been quarantined at a hospital to undergo chemotherapy and wasn’t able to attend the performance.

On a whim, he grabbed his laptop just before the benefit started to stream the concert and show the girl she wasn’t alone in her fight. He called her after the gig and realized just how compelling the performance had been.

“The fact that everyone was there and able to support her – the emotion really translated well across the live stream,” Ware told Pollstar. “It was really impacting for her, and in turn really impacting for us as well.”

The Melodic Caring Project was born soon after. Ware knew streaming shows via laptop wouldn’t quite cut it, and the organization eventually moved to a TriCaster – a portable live production studio that allows for multiple cameras, split screens and other effects, and produces a high end, TV-quality product to stream to Melodic Caring Project’s rockSTARS.

If Internet is available at a venue, the organization will tap into it to broadcast shows but Ware also uses a mobile hotspot so streaming could be done from virtually anywhere. MCP currently partners with Starlight Children’s Foundation Northwest and provides programming to chronically ill children registered through the foundation to help ease their minds and offer support, but the kids aren’t the only ones feeling the impact from a show.

“Instead of being alone in the hospital, we transport 300 to 1,500 people into that room supporting those kids,” Ware said. “And the audience at the venue is excited by the fact they’re supporting the kids as well.”

Performers also seem to get something out of it – a very real sense of the power their music can have on children’s lives. “A majority of artists feel their music is powerful and I think are looking for a way to make that tangible,” Ware said. “This is such an easy thing for artists to get involved in and their music can make an incredible impact on these kids. … That’s what I would love for other artists to realize – their music is truly powerful and can heal, not just entertain.”

Children watching the Melodic Caring Project concert stream.

Artists that have taken the stage for MCP thus far include Brandi Carlile, Donavon Frankenreiter, Richard On of O.A.R., Duff McKagan’s band Walking Papers, Tyrone Wells, Brett Young, Massy Ferguson, Ivan & Alyosha, and Kris Orlowski, among others. Brett Dennen and Carbon Leaf shows are also in the works. A Melodic Caring Project fundraising CD, Raise A Record, featuring songs from artists who’ve worked with the organization, drops Sept. 24. More information can be found at