Hey there! This weekend some of my students joined me at the Maples of Towson, an assisted living facility, to play some holiday music and bring some cheer!
We did this through a truly amazing program called the CLEF Intergenerational Music Project. Have you heard of it? It's run by Imbie Tamba, mother to two young music students. Every month or so, she organizes a recital at an assisted living facility in the Baltimore area. Any child can sign up to play or sing!
CLEF serves both the oldest and the youngest members of our community. For our oldest, they are soothed or perked up by some live music. But, more importantly, they have young visitors! Assisted living facilities can be lonely, isolating places. The residents are very appreciative of the kids' visits. Getting a little connection with the outside community and seeing some bright, young faces seem to lift these folks up.
For our youngest, there are many benefits- the most superficial being they get low pressure opportunities to grow their performing skills. However, this is not the main reason we do the CLEF concerts. The kids who participate in the concerts learn about and experience giving back to the community. They learn to be kind and compassionate. They learn that sharing their music and time are some of the greatest gifts they can give. When the recital concludes, kids are encouraged to meet and chat with the residents. These young kids grow their conversational skills and learn that making personal connections with these older folks hold equal weight to sharing their music.
For a little holiday cheer, check our our rendition of Jingle Bell Boogie. Notice the bobbing heads and movement from the residents. If you listen closely, you might even hear some singing. :)
This was not our first CLEF visit as an ensemble. We did our first one back in 2014 at Springwell Senior Living. Here we are playing Rigadoon by H. Purcell.
I hope that this holiday season and during these difficult times, we can all take a moment to think about what we can do to make this planet a better place. So, I leave you with this quote:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
May your days be merry and bright. Happy Holidays, one and all!