Category Archives: Volunteering

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

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

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

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

I’d do anything for you, dear

I’ve blogged here and here about a listener I called Walt. But I haven’t yet told you the most amazing thing about him. It’s not that he started taking singing lessons around age 90, and then gave monthly performances at … Continue reading

Posted in Aging, Dementia, Volunteering | 4 Comments

I can’t get started with you

“You’re not gonna play that thing are you?” asked an assisted-living resident as I set up my keyboard near her lunch table. I admitted I was planning to do exactly that. She went on to say that she had spent … Continue reading

Posted in Audiences, Music and emotion, Piano performance, Volunteering | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Johnny one note

Last week, on a rainy Tuesday, my lovely Steinway grand received its annual tuning. If you’ve heard a piano being tuned, you know it’s not particularly pleasant. The tuner repeatedly strikes a single note while using a lever to turn … Continue reading

Posted in Pianos, Volunteering | Tagged | 5 Comments