Playing for seniors is a wonderful opportunity for young piano students to give service to the community. Not only do the kids gain valuable experience performing, they also get to see how much joy music can bring to seniors. So yesterday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday here in the US some of my students performed at a local senior living facility. The comfortable living room at the facility was great for a low pressure performance – no intimidating stage lights and an at home feeling. It was a wonderful sight to see the residents, parents, and students gathered around and sharing music. One of the parents even played his djembe at the end!
An added benefit to this performance was that it helped students get over the after Christmas slump and get back to playing.
In preparation for the performance we used some lesson time to talk about what songs might appeal to this audience. This discussion really helped the kids get out of “me” mode and understand that when we perform we are giving something to our audience. It is not so much about how much applause we can get but how much joy we can give. In turn for an entertaining performance, the audience rewards us with their applause. For some of my students this idea was a tough sale until… they played the chosen songs in the performance and saw the awesome reaction the seniors gave them! So, here is the list of some of the songs that were performed on yesterday –
When The Saints Go Marching In
Man In The Mirror
Those Were The Days
Hit The Road Jack
The Star Spangled Banner
This Little Light of Mine
Big Dog Boogie (My First Piano Adventures)
Party Song (Piano Adventures)