Musical messengers: Army family in South Korea creates free melodies that aim to heal

Brothers David Lee, right, a high school student at Osan Air Force Base, South Korea, and Ralph Lee, an Osan graduate, founded Music Echoes to produce free music for patients in hospitals and nursing homes. retirement during the pandemic. (Musical echoes)

Two son musicians from an army family in South Korea aim to make the world a better place by offering their violin and piano music to nursing homes and hospitals.

Brothers David Lee, 17, a senior at Osan Middle High School, and Ralph Lee, 18, a graduate of Osan, began their musical volunteering three years ago in Portland, Ore., After an elderly woman in a retirement home has asked David to perform at his funeral, he told Stars and Stripes by email on September 15.

The family moved to South Korea when their father, Army Reserve Warrant Officer James Lee, found civilian employment in the Air Force at Osan Air Base.

“We were due to come to South Korea in 2019. Then COVID-19 hit, so I couldn’t really travel to play for his funeral,” David said. “However, I really wanted to play for his funeral, so I created Music Echoes to send him the violin audio and video.”

This experience sparked a desire to give more through their music, so David and Ralph launched Music Echoes.

With David on violin and Ralph on piano, the two set out last year to record and produce original tunes. They upload their compositions to their Instagram account, Music.Echoes.

The boys’ mission is simple, they said: They want to bring free music to over 100,000 hospitals around the world, help people, make a difference and bring people together.

“We want to be the global provider of free music to places in need and be a music messenger in our world,” said David.

Their parents fund their business and David contributes his allowance so they can record and produce music at home. So far, they’ve produced several songs and delivered them digitally to over 1,000 hospitals, David said.

“Through music, we want our organization to communicate with the people of this world,” David said. “I want the poor, the disabled, the elderly who are struggling in their lives and the forgotten people in our society to be healed inside through our music.”

Kristi Howell, a music teacher at Osan Middle High School, taught David Lee in Osan, she told Stars and Stripes in a recent email.

“David is a wonderful music student and I am honored to have been his music teacher,” she said. “He is one of the most talented violinists I have ever seen, and I can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

The reception of their work so far has been positive.

“David sent us his prerecorded performances, so a lot of times people here like to listen to him on repeat because they really enjoy his music,” said Malisa Ratthasing, director of life enrichment at West Hills Health & Rehabilitation in Portland. , Oregon. Stars and Stripes by phone last week.

David hopes to grow the non-profit organization and find more musicians to join his global project to bring music to hospitals, rehabilitation centers and clinics around the world.

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Jonathan snyder



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