Teen Brings Together Music and Medicine

Texas Children's Hospital patients got a break from their routines today for a private performance by a child-prodigy violinist. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports the mission of the 14 year-old is getting music to help medicine.

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When Jourdan Urbach was just under two years old he used to curl up under his mother's piano while she was giving voice lessons. One day, Deborah, discovered her son had perfect pitch. So she decided to explore his musical abilities.

"From that point I started to work with him each day and ask him. He developed very quickly to the point he was telling me what pitch the vacuum cleaner was humming at."

Jourdan was fascinated with stringed instruments and the violin was recommended to his family. At seven years of age, Jourdan founded Children Helping Children.

"I think the real important thing is what I do with the instrument because we all have the responsibility of using our gifts to help the greater good."

Jourdan's efforts first focused on music therapy for hospitals. He began in New York and now performs at hospitals across the country. The benefit being held in Houston tomorrow evening is for the Lone Star Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Jourdan will perform with the Doctors Orchestra of Houston. Jourdan's interest goes beyond music. He's written two books, the latest called "Inside the Music" which is based on his experience at the conservancy.

"Of course fictionilized. All the characters are fictionalized. But it's about a group of friends and the competition, the friendship, the jealousy between them."

So what do you think Jourdan wants to do for a career... well, it's neither music nor writing. He wants to be a neurologist. In the mean time, he's continuing to pursue the other two passions.

Thirteen year-old Irene McDonald has been coming to Texas Children's Hospital to be treated for cystic fibrosis. She plays the piano and knows she enjoys the arts offered at the hospital, although it's difficult to explain why.

"I'm not sure. It's just different pieces you get to play. And it's just fun to just try some out and make your own music with it."

More information on the tomorrow's concert and the organization Children Helping Children can be found at KUHF-dot-org. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

Concert is Saturday, February 11th at 7:00 pm in Cullen Theater, Wortham Center. $10 and $20 ticket prices.

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