Music Therapy: Performance at Sunrise Senior House
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Music Therapy: Performance at Sunrise Senior House

At Sunrise Senior House in New York City, a special piano performance brought an extraordinary experience to the residents. It was more than just a regular concert; it was a soothing balm for the soul, showcasing the unique role of music in community service. The spotlight of this performance was on the talented pianist Jingying Li, whose playing not only touched the hearts of the audience but also significantly elevated the artistic level of the performance.

Sunrise East 56 is an assisted living community located in the Upper East Side of New York, providing a warm and supportive living environment for the elderly. Since 2021, the community has partnered with New York University to regularly host live piano performances, greatly enriching the daily lives of its residents. These residents, mostly with advanced degrees such as Masters or PhDs, come from diverse professional backgrounds including law, finance, and business. The community not only focuses on the physical and emotional well-being of its residents but also enhances their quality of life through a range of activities including music, ensuring each resident feels respected and valued.

In this setting, the exceptionally talented pianist Jingying Li often takes center stage in these performances. Jingying Li has demonstrated a unique talent for the piano since the age of four, her musical journey nurtured by family encouragement and support. After completing her Master's degree in music at New York University, she dedicated herself to exploring the healing and educational potential of music through performances and teaching. Her performances span across renowned music halls globally and various community settings, particularly adept at using music to connect people of different ages and backgrounds.

Jingying Li has the ability to convey emotions and inspire through music. She sees music as a universal language that can both soothe the soul and drive social change. Through her performances and educational activities, Jingying Li not only imparts musical skills but also instills an appreciation for the art of living and the pursuit of beauty, making her a refreshing force in the contemporary music scene. This power was perfectly manifested in the regular performances at Sunrise East 56, greatly enriching the spiritual world of the community residents.

Jingying Li's choice to perform at the senior home stems from her profound understanding of music and its value in social service. She firmly believes that music can transcend age and cultural barriers, touching people's souls. The motivation for this performance also includes reflection on personal experiences and a sense of mission. Through this performance, Jingying Li hopes to convey messages of warmth and hope, making music a healing balm in the daily lives of the residents.

To meet the needs of the special audience, Jingying Li considered various aspects in the preparation for the performance. She carefully selected pieces that included classic soothing melodies and nostalgic songs that would resonate with the elderly. One such piece was "The Sleeping Beauty Waltz" by Tchaikovsky, arranged for piano four hands. Additionally, she adjusted the performance format, incorporating more interaction and explanations of the musical pieces to enhance the residents' understanding and enjoyment.

The preparation for this performance took several months of diligent practice and refinement. During this period, Jingying Li collaborated closely with another pianist, coordinating hand movements and musical rhythms to ensure a smooth performance. They spent hours each day rehearsing, repeatedly practicing each section to achieve perfection. Besides practicing the pieces, they also designed interactive segments, such as engaging with the audience between performances and explaining the background and stories of the compositions, to enhance the audience's involvement and understanding.

Jingying Li paid special attention to the details and improvement of expressiveness during preparation. After each daily rehearsal, she would record her practice insights and areas needing improvement. The next day, she would focus on adjusting and improving these aspects during practice. She also used video recordings of the rehearsals to replay and analyze every detail, identifying areas that required refinement. This practice method not only improved their playing skills but also made their handling of each note more delicate and precise.

During the preparation, Jingying Li received guidance from Professor Marilyn Nonken. Each week, she attended several lessons to receive professional feedback and suggestions. Professor Nonken provided guidance not only on technical aspects but also helped them improve their musical expressiveness and emotional delivery. Her guidance contributed significantly to their technical and expressive progress. Throughout the rehearsals, they continuously adjusted and improved, ensuring every detail was perfected.

On the day of the performance, the atmosphere was warm and emotional. At the end of each piece, satisfaction could be seen on the faces of the residents, some even nodding along with familiar melodies. Music played a connecting and healing role in this environment, and the residents' positive responses proved the power of music, which not only healed the body but also the soul.

This performance not only brought the residents a sense of long-lost joy and tranquility but also profoundly influenced Jingying Li's perception of the role of music in community service. Music is not just an expression of art but also a bridge of emotional connection between people. This experience strengthened Jingying Li's determination to continue using music to serve the community and deepened her understanding and respect for the healing power of music.

Jingying Li's carefully selected repertoire included classic soothing melodies and nostalgic songs, each aimed at resonating with the elderly. These performances not only provided musical enjoyment but also touched the emotions of the residents, especially those struggling with illness and loneliness. Through music, Jingying Li opened a window for them to revisit old memories, while also bringing new joy.

Music is widely recognized as an important tool for improving the quality of life, especially in elderly care. Jingying Li's performances were not just entertainment; they were a therapeutic process that helped improve the residents' mental health. Her music could alleviate anxiety and depression, sparking the residents' spiritual vitality. Through her music, the residents found a way to express their emotions, which is particularly important for those possibly experiencing cognitive decline.

Through the performance at Sunrise Senior House, the power of music was once again proven to be limitless, bringing optimism and vitality to elderly residents and a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction to the performer herself. Jingying Li's performance not only brought the residents a sense of long-lost joy and tranquility but also brought her profound professional satisfaction and personal growth.

This interaction and feedback are the most valuable gifts of music, proving its infinite potential in improving quality of life. For Jingying Li, this performance was not only an opportunity to showcase her piano skills but also a profound exchange and sharing from the heart. Through her music, she not only touched the emotions of the residents but also reinforced the connections and mutual understanding within the community.

Ultimately, the performance at Sunrise Senior House became a beautiful moment filled with emotions and memories. It not only showcased Jingying Li's exceptional talent as a pianist but also demonstrated her unique value as a music therapist. Jingying Li continues to draw inspiration from her musical journey, dedicated to spreading love and hope in future performances, bringing solace to more people's souls and joy to their lives.

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