Planning Process: Banner Gateway and Inspira Gateway 3/23

Steven Z -

My name is Steven Zhang. I decided to make my senior project about performing music for audiences at various locations. I will play at three different locations, five hours per week at each location, for a total of 15 hours per week for 10 weeks.

The events I’ll describe in this blog took place weeks ago. But I’ve only now gotten around to putting finger to key about my experience throughout this process.

I started planning for my project back in early February. I contacted the volunteer services at Banner Gateway Medical Center. I wanted to play music in their lobby. Initially, I was dissuaded because they told me that it would cost them hundreds of dollars to complete my background check and health screening to bring me on board their volunteer team. But I promised them that I would put in at least 50 hours at this location, and got a reluctant yes.

Banner Gateway then put me in touch with Inspira Gateway, a retirement center close to their facility that only recently opened. I met with their volunteer directors in mid-February. Their facility is extraordinarily well-kept. I was told I could split my time between several areas, so I could reach more people who are facing varying levels of memory difficulties. Inspira Gateway provided a special chance for me to play for an audience in a recital setting. Listeners paid full attention to my playing, not just letting it ring in the background.

I had to come up with my own program ideas, like a real recitalist would have to do. Good conscience prevented my reusing the same pieces over and over again. I experienced constant pressure to expand my repertoire with music that is manageable but engaging and fun to perform.


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