Monday, December 17, 2012

Play the Harp for Seniors - Countdown to Christmas - Day 17

For the 17th day in the Countdown for Christmas, Sophia played the harp for one hour at a nearby assisted living facility that is connected to a nursing home and hospital. 

There were about 30 residents, family members, and staff who listened to her play a variety of songs.

Some of the seniors who were at the Christmas party.

We arrived at the care center and were warmly welcomed by the staff. They seemed to happy to see Sophia and have harp music at the party.

She was able to let her harp adjust from being outside in the cold to being indoors for a bit before she tuned it. There was one stubborn string that would not get in tune. It was a bit unnerving because it is a critical string in several songs that she plays. Thankfully, about five minutes before the performance, we were able to tune it correctly.

Sophia tuning her harp. 
The little black box resting on the harp is an electronic tuner.
She has a tool in her right hand that she uses to adjust the tightness of the strings.

Then she played a couple of songs on the harp to make sure the strings sounded right and to get ready for her performance.

Sophia practicing a few songs before the staff came to bring her to the party; and 
introduce her to the residents and their families.

It was good for her to get out some pre-performance jitters before she began playing. This was the first time she was playing by herself for an extended period of time (one hour).

Sophia getting one more song in before she played at the party.

After she was introduced and began playing, people listened so intently and didn't talk. Tia, the volunteer coordinator, told the people that they should talk with one was a party...and Sophia would play the harp during the party.

It was interesting to see the reactions of the older people. Some would sing along quietly, another closed her eyes during certain pieces - as if the music was very calming to her, and there were lots of smiles during the Sound of the Music pieces. Some of the adult-children would ask their parents, "Do you recognize this Christmas song?"

Sophia playing a Christmas song for the seniors.

Everyone seemed so appreciative that she played, and clapped for a long time for her at the end. I think it was a very positive experience for Sophia.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Oh, I bet they loved her playing! Harp music is such a beautiful, peaceful experience for them--for anyone. Great job!

I have been reading everything, but was so far behind I haven't commented on every post. You guys have been very busy!! :)