Just last week, I performed at the Oakview Senior center and was welcomed with many new faces! The whole chamber group performed Secrets, Moon River, and The Medallion Calls. The seniors seemed to enjoy Moon River and even sang along. To add a little fun, we played The Medallion Calls, a contemporary piece which incorporates a lot of accents and dynamics making the piece very exciting and lively. After these pieces, I played Concerto No. 2 in G Major by Haydn, which was a piece I played many years ago but decided to bring back for the senior home. It was exhilarating to replay a piece and observe my improvements yet still recognize what I was lacking.
Although it has only been a week since we last saw the seniors, I can't wait for our next visit! We have been rehearsing some pieces for our next interaction. So far, we've rehearsed Viva La Vida, Sweet Dreams, Lady Gaga Fugue, and Tainted Love. However, after one rehearsal, I noticed we need to practice some more to get the pieces prepared for the senior center! With three weeks until our next visit, our hope is to master six pieces that the seniors will enjoy!
Today, we went to the Oakview Senior home to play music for the elderly. We played Frank Sinatra, Coldplay, and Bach. It was really fun to play songs that they recognized! For example, we played Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra and the elderly seemed to enjoy it a lot. One audience member even said she knew Franky Sinatra; she called him Franky! Because it's been awhile since the whole group got to play together, it was a really fun experience for everyone as we played each piece.
Our audience was also larger than usual, which was really exciting! After our performances, we love to interact with the audience; they come up to us and thank us for our music. Each performance, we become closer and closer with the audience and get even more excited for the next time we get to play for them. We especially love to interact with Roz, who is a famous pianist who played at Juliard. She always attends our performances and loves to sing along to our music.
We are thrilled to perform once again at the Oakview Senior home next month! Because we ordered new music, we can't to see their reactions! We try to perform music from the 50s like Frank Sinatra and from the 60s-70s like the Beatles. We can't wait to visit the senior home again next month!
- Sophia Lee
Welcome to our newest members: Kaitlyn Hahn, Emily Kim, and Albert Kim! Kaitlyn Hahn is a violist, and both Emily and Albert are violinists. We are so excited to have them and are thrilled to be performing with them. ME&WE is happy to allow more people to share their passion for music with the world as well as introduce them to music therapy. Welcome!!!
On July 7th, we visited the Oakview senior home in Thousand Oaks. Unfortunately, because it is summer, a lot of our members were on vacation and weren't able to attend this specific performance. Yet, the four members that did come — me, Julia, Sophia, and Kaitlyn — managed to pull the entire performance off together. Here's a picture of us together!
There are many seniors that usually enjoy our performances, and it's easy to tell because they often sing during pieces they recognize or come to talk to us afterwards. This week, one man came up to us and our parents who were observing from the side. Because Oakview is very strict on their elders' confidentiality, I can't name names, but the man told us that we should be proud of what we were doing and that although they may not show it, all of the seniors were appreciative of the time we took to come and perform our favorite pieces for them. He told our parents that they should be proud of their kids and their passion for performing at senior homes. This was and is my motivation for creating ME&WE.
This man expressed the joy I hoped to provide for the seniors we play for. As a high school student, there are many stresses with schooling, but ME&WE isn't another thing I need to be stressed for. Rather, knowing that I can make others happy with my passion for music is what relieves my stress. The man mentioned that the elderly men and women were appreciative of the music we played for them, but I am more appreciative of the continuous respect and happiness they give back to us. In a sense, together, we welcome the common passion we all have — music — to lighten up each of our lives and embrace the joy of the moment.
Without ME&WE and seniors like that old man, I would never have found the gleeful rewarding feeling in knowing that I am making someone's life a little better by providing the one thing I have: my love for music. Thank you to that man for revealing to me the true meaning of ME&WE.
- Jamie Lee
Our blog is now live! We're so excited to share our experiences with the world and look forward to many more blog posts to come. Each month, members of ME&WE will alternate to share what they learned or what they gained from that day's performance. We hope that by sharing our journey through musical therapy, more people would learn about the importance of music as a strong healing power. We hope that as ME&WE expands, you will keep up with the blog posts and see what we're up to!