Musical Postcards for Seniors (Connected During Coronavirus Pandemic)
Aylin Tanriverdi is a senior student at Westwood High School, Austin Texas. In COVID-19 pandemic, she created musical postcards for seniors. Here is her story.
Aylin has playing classical guitar since she was 6 and particularly likes the music of Ana Vidovic, a guitarist originally from Croatia who now lives in the United States.
While trying to stay connected with her own grandparents during the pandemic through video calls, her grandfather asked her to play a virtual guitar concert for him. “What started out as one concert for him turned into a weekly concert,” she told the Austin American-Statesman.
She wonders, if her grandparents were enjoying this, would other seniors like the connection that music played by kids for them could bring?
Aylin has taken lessons at at Austin’s Orpheus Academy of Music since she was a child, so she reached out to the staff at Orpheus to see if other students would like to make videos of themselves playing pieces and talking about pieces or something about their lives. The staff were very supportive of her idea, and they worked together to launch Musical Postcards for Seniors.
In Musical Postcards for Seniors, we send weekly music concerts (aka “musical postcards”) via YouTube link to senior living centers. Fifty-three students at Orpheus Academy of Music have participated in our initiative by recording and sharing their music.
According to Aylin, as of August 2020, Musical Postcards for Seniors has reached 758 nursing homes. These nursing homes are in 26 states in the United States, four provinces in Canada, and three states in Australia. On average, there are 100 residents per facility, which indicates that we have reached approximately 75,000 seniors.
The Musical Postcards have gained very positive feedbacks. “Many of smiles have been had with the time you have all put into this and I from the bottom of my heart thank you for thinking of the ladies and gentlemen that I take care of here at Elderwood,” said the activities/volunteers director at Elderwood at Wheatfield in Wheatfield, New York. “Your small act of kindness has brought so much joy and it will forever be a cherished memory for myself.”