Category Archives: Volunteering

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

What did I have that I don’t have?

It’s not really lost till Mom can’t find it. I don’t remember where I heard or read this, but I think it’s true. A few weeks ago, a windstorm upended our patio umbrella. Getting the base re-positioned required a special … Continue reading

Posted in Reminiscences, Volunteering | 1 Comment

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

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

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

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