During the COVID-19 pandemic, music has been extra special for me and my grandparents. I am not able to see them often since they don’t live nearby. While I may not be able to hold my grandparents’ hands and tell them everything will be okay, I am able to reach them virtually and perform guitar concerts with musical postcards for seniors.
With the help of music, my grandparents have found comfort and strength during these unprecedented times. I wanted to share the joy of music with other seniors, as well, to help decrease their isolation. Especially since nursing homes were hit hard by the pandemic, I was inspired to involve more musicians and residents in local nursing homes.
I’ve been studying classical guitar at Orpheus Academy of Music in Austin, Texas for 11 years. I reached out to Orpheus Academy’s Co-founder and Director Klondike Steadman about starting a virtual music concert initiative for local nursing homes. Klondike and the Orpheus Academy of Music team were very supportive of my idea, and we worked together to launch Musical Postcards for Seniors.
Musical Postcards for Seniors Program
In Musical Postcards for Seniors, we send weekly music concerts (aka “musical postcards”) via YouTube link to senior living centers. Fifty-three students at Orpheus Academy of Music have participated in our initiative by recording and sharing their music. Musical Postcards for Seniors started out small, at first only reaching seniors in Austin and the surrounding areas, but we are now positively impacting seniors around the world.
As of now, Musical Postcards for Seniors has reached 758 nursing homes. These nursing homes are in 26 states in the United States, four provinces in Canada, and three states in Australia. On average, there are 100 residents per facility, which indicates that we have reached approximately 75,000 seniors. In addition, we recently opened up a second round of music submissions so that more students can have the opportunity to share music with seniors.
The response has been very positive. About 22% of all of the nursing homes and companies I contacted responded. Administrators in companies liked the idea and sent out the YouTube links to all of the nursing homes in their company. The staff in each individual nursing home shared YouTube videos with residents.
“Many of smiles have been had with the time you have all put into this and I from the bottom of my heart thank you for thinking of the ladies and gentlemen that I take care of here at Elderwood,” said the activities/volunteers director at Elderwood at Wheatfield in Wheatfield, New York. “Your small act of kindness has brought so much joy and it will forever be a cherished memory for myself.”
Students are also very willing to participate in our initiative. The more they learned about the project, the more they wanted to participate. We recently opened up a second round of music submissions so that more students can have the opportunity to share music with seniors.
We would love to reach more nursing homes. If someone is in a nursing home or has friends/family in a nursing home and would like to receive Musical Postcards for Seniors, please reach out to us via email at [email protected]. In the email, please let us know the name of the facility and the email of the activity director (if available).
Musical Postcards for Seniors (Nursing Home Testimonials)
Elderwood at Wheatfield
- Location: Wheatfield, New York
- Feedback from seniors:
- “Thank you for giving your time and talent to bring us joy.”
- “Beautiful playing”
- “Truly an honor to be selected for your talents to be played for me.”
- Feedback from the Activities/Volunteers Director:
- “Many smiles have been had with the time you have all put into this and I from the bottom of my heart thank you for thinking of the ladies and gentlemen that I take care of here at Elderwood. Your small act of kindness has brought so much joy and it will forever be a cherished memory for myself.”
- Location: Cedar Park, Texas
- Feedback from the Resident and Family Ambassador:
- “The seniors really enjoyed it. We plugged it into the big screen TV in our activity area. She is so talented & did an amazing performance! Thank you for sharing.”
Brookdale Spicewood Springs
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Feedback from seniors:
- “Really lovely”
- “I’m enjoying this music that this young lady is playing”
Solstice Senior Living Austin
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Feedback from Vibrant Life Director:
- Before the first concert:
- “We are so very thankful for Aylin and we definitely support her efforts as it relates to her practice and performances. We ALL think that it is so thoughtful that she wanted to share her amazing talent with us! I can’t wait for the residents to see her play….they are going to be amazed!”
- After the first concert:
- “EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME, and the residents really enjoyed the concert!”
- Before the first concert:
- Location: 26 locations in the United States
- Feedback from the Recreational Activities Consultant:
- “The videos are fantastic, and our residents are really enjoying the talents of the youth! Thanks so much for providing these opportunities for our enjoyment!”
- “Thank you for the wonderful gifts of music that your students have shared with us. Many of our residents have commented about how the performances have brought a smile to their faces, sparked a memory of their own children taking up music, and being a part of school concerts. They are so impressed by the quality of talent in the students.”
Aylin Tanriverdi Bio
Aylin Tanriverdi, 17, of Austin, Texas, is a high school senior who has studied classical guitar at Orpheus Academy of Music since she was 6 years old. Upon graduation, Aylin aspires to attend an Ivy League college where she plans to study medicine and become a doctor.
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