Category Archives: Music and emotion

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

After almost 6 years of blogging and more than 200 posts here at Volunteer Pianist, I am making a change. I’m now blogging at my new website: https://paulettesharkey.com/piano-blog/ I’ll still be writing about music and about my experiences as a … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion | 2 Comments

Let me call you sweetheart

A few years ago, I wrote a post about some of the distractions I’ve faced as a volunteer pianist: piano dusters, carpet cleaners, table clearers. And cell phones. Always cell phones. But lately I’ve noticed a new category of distractions: … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Piano performance, Volunteering | 10 Comments

Everybody’s talkin’ at me

Fred Rogers used to say that we have two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we talk. And he meant actually listen, not just wait for the other person to stop talking so we … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Music and emotion, Volunteering | 8 Comments

If they asked me, I could write a book

Thanks to the many followers who have contacted me over the past few months to ask, “Are you still blogging?” It’s been a while, I know. So what have I been doing that has kept me away from my Volunteer … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion | 14 Comments

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 | 9 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 | 5 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 | 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

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