Performing Musician & Teaching Artist
Creative Aging Ohio
As part of the Ohio Arts Council “Artful Aging Ohio” pilot program I spent 2 weeks as Artist-in-Residence in a retirement community. I worked with Independent Living, Assisted Living, Health & Rehabilitation, and Memory Care Unit.
My program uses music and movement to evoke interest, delight, active participation, encourage interaction and problem solving.
The activities, based on the elements of music making and dance, are simple enough for the lay person to perform and interesting enough to intrigue the senior adult. Whatever a person’s skill, experience or talent, we are making and experiencing music together. I respond to what I see in the moment, how the participants are involved, whether there is frustration or delight, curiosity or fatigue. Since my “games” draw on many aspects of music and movement, there is something for everyone. At any moment, another person comes alive, offers a new idea, or has an “aha!” moment. This adds to the group’s general merriment and positive energy.
To integrate the mind, body, emotions and spirit requires that all come under the refined “rule” of musical aesthetic – not soley for beauty or accuracy but because the Music itself calls to all aspects of a human being. Although listening to music from one’s past has been shown to activate deep memory, the person is still passive. What brings the individual back into the flow of Life is the participation, involvement and exchange that comes from making music with others.