COVID shot and a show: Volunteer piano player serenades Mountain View hospital with gentle music

Dustin Dorsey Image
Friday, March 25, 2022
Volunteer pianist graces South Bay hospital with sweet melodies
For the past few years, a volunteer pianist has been lifting spirits at Sutter Health in Mountain View with his gentle music.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- South Bay resident Don Eberhard has a musical talent that he wants to share with his community.

For the past few years, he has been volunteering at Sutter Health in Mountain View playing the piano for staff and patients.

He says the world needs something good to see and to listen to.

"Surgeons here do implants of organs and complex surgeries," Eberhard said. "In my volunteer life, I do implants of implants of music to boost people's spirits."

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What started as a way to pass the time and spread joy at his mother in law's nursing home turned into a way he could give back to his community at this hospital.

Eberhard hits all the right notes with patients, doctors and staff who are all in the mood for a melody after some of the most trying two years of our lives.

"People need a lift right now whether it be COVID or after COVID," Eberhard said. "It's not an easy world to navigate in."

"It really does make you feel at ease," Sutter Health South Bay Regional Manager Araceli Diaz said. "You kind of get that zen feeling. I'm pretty sure when patients come in and they hear that, it also makes them feel a little better."

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The position of the piano is about as important as the music.

Eberhard is right next to the COVID vaccination clinic, so people can relax while waiting their 15 minutes after the shot.

The hospital staff is appreciative of the tranquil experience that their musical volunteer creates.

"I think it's great to be able to have all our volunteers back, especially because we can enjoy this great music," Diaz said. "It lifts everybody's spirits and we're just very grateful to have him."

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Eberhard says he will continue to play for as long as he can and he's thankful for the impact he makes on his community.

"People don't have to wear masks over their ears, the music when I play it is unfiltered," Eberhard said. "Ultimately, my payment is being able to give back to the community, help people be calm through hard times and contribute something."

Thank you, piano man, you've got these patients and health care heroes feeling alright.