In 2012, Floyd Jones (https://www.floydjones.co) was awarded the Presidential Scholarship in the Arts in voice at his alma mater, George Washington University. Since receiving the award he has performed in premier venues across the country, from the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap in Washington D.C. to the Apollo Theater in New York City, and has had the privilege of performing in concert tours across the globe.
Floyd is a 2017 Fellow at Venture for America, where he works with high growth startups and entrepreneurs to create jobs and revitalize emerging communities across the country. He currently lives in Maryland, where he serves as a worship leader at Epworth United Methodist Church and is currently working on an extended play record with his company Worthy Music Group.
What led you to get involved with A Musical Heart?
During my senior year of college, I was looking for a way to continue singing throughout the D.C. area. I also wanted a unique way to serve others. When my choir director, Gisele Becker, introduced me to Nina, and Nina explained the mission of A Musical Heart, I was immediately hooked and knew that I found a new home.
Please provide a brief vignette about a memorable, touching moment in which you felt that your music truly aided, and/or lifted the spirits of a hospice patient.
Maybe one of the most PROFOUND experiences I have had since my journey with AMH began–I sang to an older woman with 3 family members around her. She was sleeping, but I asked the family if they would want me to sing to her and they all cheerfully accepted! I asked what type of music they would like for me to sing.
Her daughter said, “If you start singing hymns she will jump up and start singing with you!”
I just laughed, as did everyone else, for she had not really made any movements for quite some time. I sang some traditional hymns like “Because He Lives” and “It is Well,” and the craziest thing happened! Once I started singing, her mouth started moving along to the song!! It was so crazy, something I’ve never seen before! No words came out and her eyes were still closed, but her mouth was moving! She was right there with us! And most importantly her skin lightened up and her entire demeanor just seemed lighter. The family started to cry because they were so moved by the entire experience. It was extremely overwhelming and beautiful!
How does playing for hospice patients, inspire you (perhaps to help others, or in other ways), enrich your life, provide a greater sense of purpose in the world?
Singing for hospice patients inspires me a great deal, for it makes me pause and try to live my life in a more full and purposeful way. I have met people from all walks of life, with different backgrounds, races, and levels of ability, and the one thing that I realized is that death does not discriminate. Everyone will be in a place where they find themselves nearing the end of life–thus we must learn how to live our lives in a way that cares for and celebrates our spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. This process has led me to be more brave and to focus on how I will serve all types of people.
How is the experience of providing music for hospice patients different for you from performing in public?
Providing music for hospice patients is different because it isn’t really performing, it is a true service. I have to put myself in the position of mere servant. I can’t sing a particular song just because I feel like it. I have to sing a song that meets the patients’ needs and aids them in their development.
Other thoughts you would like to share about being an integral part of A Musical Heart?
A Musical Heart has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I never feel like I am giving the patients much, because every time I go, I feel as if I have been given more. I have seen so much struggle, yet so much strength and resilience in the patients and families I have been able to support. It reminds me continuously that one can truly find peace in any and every situation if only we look for it.