Author Archives: volunteerpianist

I believe that children are our future

That’s the advice of a 9-yr-old boy named Tate, who decided to spend his summer volunteering at his grandpa’s senior center instead of going to camp. Here’s a short video about his experience. It starts with a few words from … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Death, Music and emotion, Volunteering | Tagged | 3 Comments

Man with a harmonica

Just when I thought I might run out of volunteer pianist stories to tell, this happened: I was just a few minutes into my hour of playing for the residents of an independent-living community when Joel sat down in an … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Volunteering | Tagged | 4 Comments

Together we can make such sweet music

Last week my piano duet partner and I started learning one of Antonin Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances. We played it through slowly a couple of times, well under the marked tempo. Tempo de lerno, as I think of it. Then we … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Piano performance | Tagged | 6 Comments

I like a Gershwin tune, how about you?

It was just about a year ago that I finished my first draft of a children’s biography of 19th century pianist Clara Schumann. Since then, I’ve polished and revised it many times. I’m hopeful I’ll find a publisher, but I … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music and emotion, Volunteering, Writing | Tagged | 3 Comments

I concentrate on you

A couple of weeks ago, a man wheeled his dad into an assisted-living dining room past the piano. I was playing “It Had to Be You.” The son was whistling something else, a song I didn’t recognize. He kept whistling … Continue reading

Posted in Singing, Volunteering | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Walking on sunshine

Readers of this blog already know that I love short, short writing. Like the six-word story. Here’s one of mine: Dementia stole speech. She still sings. I recently entered a contest to write a children’s story in 50 words. That … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Writing | Tagged | 11 Comments

From the archives

Last Christmas my daughter sent me a lovely assortment of Penzeys spices, including a “Kind Heart Box” of three salt-free seasonings. Penzeys is a Wisconsin-based company with a conscience. You can read about them here or visit their website here. … Continue reading

Posted in Volunteering | Tagged | 4 Comments

Anything you can do I can do better

From my place at the piano, I watch stories unfold. A new resident moves into the assisted-living facility. He’s tall, handsome, and still drives. Woo-hoo! That gets the ladies’ attention. Or a life-of-the-party woman in an independent-living complex starts a … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Volunteering | 4 Comments

Dancing Queen

I watched the entire season 2 of The Crown on Netflix in just a few days. It was so good I couldn’t help myself. Claire Foy’s portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II is a wonder to watch. She speaks volumes without … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Music and emotion, Music history | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

A kind of blind love

In the 1990s, I was active in a volunteer group that transcribed print books and other materials into braille dots for blind readers. I spent several months learning the basic literary braille code. Then I submitted a test manuscript to … Continue reading

Posted in Jazz, Singers, Volunteering | Tagged , | 7 Comments