Category Archives: Song requests

Love’s old sweet song

I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to find Owen. He steadied himself with his walker and grinned. “Bet you didn’t expect to see me here, did ya?” Until a few weeks ago, Owen lived in an independent … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged | 1 Comment

The times they are a-changin’

I was eating a bowl of cereal in my kitchen last October when I heard on the radio that Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I abandoned my spelt flakes, went to my sheet music closet, found … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Audiences, Music and emotion, Music programming, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged | 2 Comments

My heart at thy sweet voice

Many of my elderly listeners proudly introduce me to their visiting sons and daughters. For a resident of a senior facility, having visitors is a big deal. It announces, My life extends beyond the walls of this place. Lunchtime visitors … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music and emotion, Singing, Song requests, Volunteering | 4 Comments

Make just one someone happy

“I don’t like people like you who can remember things.” Wow, that’s a bit harsh. But that’s Harold. I wrote about meeting him in a June 2013 blog post: As I reached the last chords of the 1949 tune “My … Continue reading

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

You make me happy when skies are grey

I’d always thought of “You Are My Sunshine” as a children’s song. But then Dara started asking me to play it. She was a sparkly-eyed cutie with a head of soft, white curls, who brightened everyone’s day despite her advanced … Continue reading

Posted in Dementia, Music history, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged | 3 Comments

Thanks for the memory

Music transports many of my listeners to places full of memories of lost loved ones, especially spouses. They take comfort in the journey, and find joy in shared reminiscing. Oh, my husband liked that song. Or, I had that song … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged | 2 Comments

When I leave the world behind

I’m an obituary aficionado. I appreciate how a thoughtful, well-written obituary presents a life, a legacy, in a nutshell: abbreviated family tree, work history, accomplishments, hobbies, talents. I prefer obits with a little personality, like the one I clipped out … Continue reading

Posted in Music and emotion, Music programming, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Birth of the boogie

Nick asked if I’d ever heard a song that starts like this: “In a little honky tonky village in Texas, there’s a guy who plays the best piano by far …” I recognized the words right away. They come from … Continue reading

Posted in Music history, Song requests, Songwriters, Volunteering | Tagged | 7 Comments

The cat came back

During my performances, Bernice sits knitting in a rocking chair, her steel gray hair pulled into a messy top knot. The stereotype ends there. Although kind and complimentary toward me, Bernice is cantankerous with the other residents, especially if they … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music history, Piano performance, Song requests, Volunteering | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Beg, Steal or Borrow

I happened to be playing background music during lunch the day that Victor’s daughter brought him by for a tour of the retirement complex. I’m sure she was pleased with her timing because her nonagenarian father, it soon became clear, … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Piano performance, Song requests, Volunteering | 4 Comments