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It made me so happy that I could brighten up their day with music...

Tonight I gave another Suite Melody Care performance. I had such a great time playing for the audience tonight, and I think that this was my most successful performance so far. For the past month, I've been planning my trivia questions and practicing my pieces for tonight's performance. I decided on a theme of "The Evolution of Music," beginning with classical repertoire from the 18th century (such as Arabesque) and going in chronological order until I reached modern-day pieces (such as River Flows In You). I spent a lot of time practicing these songs each week, and I feel like the Suite Melody Care program requires a lot of time and commitment. Each performance takes many hours to prepare for, but it is definitely worth it in the end. The audience seemed to really enjoy my theme tonight. One of my goals for Suite Melody Care is to engage the audience more and give a more easy-going performances, and I believe I achieved this today. Performing for senior residents has reinforced the importance of "putting myself in someone else's shoes". For example, I shared more facts today about the lives of the composers of the pieces. I talked briefly about how Claude Debussy was a French composer, the origin of the song "Turkish March", Mozart's career, and more. Although I may not be that interested in musical history, the residents found the information refreshing and were thus more engaged. A couple of people even came up to me after the performance and thanked me, saying that the pieces were all beautiful and that I was very talented. This has encouraged me to prepare an even better performance for next month, and to challenge myself my learning more new songs despite my increasing workload at school. It made me so happy that I could brighten up their day with music. After the performance, I spoke one-on-one with one of the residents. She showed me some incredible pastel paintings that she had drawn, and I found out a bit about her hobbies and family. I think there is a lot of value interacting with senior citizens, and I love learning about their lives. Our elders have had so much more experience than us throughout their lives, and I think it's important to take the time to learn what we can from them.

- Lisa Shen, SMC Pianist

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