Thursday, April 7, 2011

MPA musicians entertain seniors, warm hearts

Tuesday the musicians from MPA did a beautiful job performing for the audience of seniors at the day care center.  The violin ensemble performed the first set of pieces, the choir performed their pieces and the violin soloists closed the program. The audience received them warmly and the students performed with grace and poise!  

After they performed, each student went into the audience to say a personal greeting to each senior, many students shaking their hands and offering a warm word.  It was such a joy to see them interacting with the seniors and so appreciated.  Thank-you so much for your support and for helping the students practice their music and to get their instruments to school, both for the elective classes, rehearsals and the performances.

There was one senior in the audience that had lost her ability to speak, due to dementia.  Most of the time, she sat still in her chair, staring forward and unresponsive.  When the children performed, she was smiling and tapping her foot gently.  Afterwards, she sat still again, staring and not able to speak.  For one hour today, the children were able to give this lady so much joy, despite the progression of her dementia.  It made me, once again, aware of the importance of music in stimulating memory and emotions.  Music has been used as a powerful tool in therapy with people with Alzheimer's type dementia. Music was today, for our MPA musicians and for the seniors at this facility, a universal, multi-cultural, multi- generational language.

Musically yours,

Ardis Billey

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