At 91, Music Keeps Her Hands Agile and Mind Active, By Wynned Vanden Heuvel, Resident of Appleton Retirement Community

Sing every chance you get. Join in a sing-along. Sing in the shower. Tap your feet, tap your cane, tap out a rhythm on the table top. Let yourself swing and sway.
It will boost your spirits, chase away the blues and improve your breathing and lung capacity. Let music take you on a memory trip back to childhood and happy occasions.
We sing and rock babies to calm and comfort them. We sing and dance around when we are children. As teenagers and young adults, music is a part of all sorts of celebrations and worship services.
Mother nature even brings us the song of the birds; the babbling brook. We notice the pitter-patter or raindrops, the whistling wind and the call of the loon—all the music of nature. We live in a world of musical sounds and rhythms. Let yourself enjoy and relax with the gift of music.
We know that all cultures use rhythm and song in their celebrations. We all celebrate our holidays and religious services with appropriate music. We are never too old to enjoy the benefits of all kinds of music. Retirement homes and nursing homes provide a variety of musical activities and entertainments. You can see residents’ eyes light up, their feet tapping or joining in the an old familiar tune.
Music therapists tell us that music has a great healing power. It is used in many capacities. Research shows that music therapy can positively impact health, which is especially important as we age and experience more health changes.
As we get older, there are many activities we can no longer participate in due to physical limitations. No matter what our age or our health or mobility issues, we can always make and appreciate music.
Music has been an important and active part of my life for well over 75 years. I first began singing in choirs at age 10, sang in many choirs and was a longtime member of the Fox Valley Sweet Adelines and even was their director for a while.
At age 91, music is still something I enjoy every day. I practice my piano daily and play and lead a Saturday sing-along at Appleton Retirement Community, where I live. Music helps me keep my hands agile and my mind active.
So . . . sing and old song, do a little dance, shake a tambourine! Raise your voices, lift your hearts and you’ll be healthier and happier!

 

 

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