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I love playing music for Suite Melody Care residents

I have just returned from another successful joint SMC performance. I wasn’t originally scheduled to perform today. Rather, I was filling in for another performer who could not be there today. I volunteered to do so a couple days ago when I received an email from Leslie, the program organizer, saying that she were in need of a performer. I took the initiative to give an extra performance because I’m committed to the Suite Melody Care program, and have grown to love performing for the residents at senior homes.

Once I had come up with the idea for the theme of "Music Medley", I emailed my partner, with whom I would be performing. We collaborated together to plan an hour-long performance comprising of many different styles of music. I also did some more research online to find some interesting facts about the pieces that I was playing. For example, an interesting fact about the composer Johann Sebastian Bach is that he came from a very musical family, and was the youngest of 8 children.

Today, I initiated the performance by giving a brief description about what the Suite Melody Care program is. My partner and I also introduced ourselves to the audience. I found that the audience was extremely friendly and encouraging. They seemed to have a passion for music, and I saw many of the residents tapping their feet or fingers to the beat as we played.

As I was playing today, I became aware that an area of growth for me could be trying not to feel nervous when I begin playing. I have improved in this area a lot since I first began performing. The first time I played in front of an audience when I was very young, my fingers were shaking so hard I could hardly hit the right notes. Now, I only feel slightly nervous when I begin playing. By the time I’ve played a couple of songs, I usually feel even more relaxed, and find it easier to put more expression into the music. I would like to begin my performances with this relaxed manner, because my playing is of a higher quality when I’m not nervous.

To conclude, I’m really glad that I volunteered for an extra performance this month. Both the staff and residents are very kind, and I had a wonderful time.

- Lisa Shen, SMC Pianist

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