Playing for Two 4/14

Steven Z -

Two weeks ago at Banner Baywood, I went inside a nursing unit to play for two inhabitants. I asked my volunteer coordinator beforehand and also asked the nurses on the floor for their permission. They kindly worked with me to find patients who would like to hear music.

The two were sitting upright on their beds. I should try to avoid sharing any personal information of the patients. One was a middle-aged woman and the other was older. I played in their room for a little less than an hour. They were both extremely appreciative the whole time I was there. I could tell this would be just another boring afternoon for them if they had been left by themselves. After each piece I played, the middle-aged woman talked about something she thought of while I was playing, and shared her thoughts enthusiastically with her older companion and me. Sometimes it was: you know why I love string instruments so much, they can make such big contrasts so suddenly; that part you were playing where it got louder and louder towards the climax and suddenly dropped down again, only the violin could make such a glorious sound. Other times it was simply: he reminds me of my nephew…

A crowd of nurses gathered at the doorway, I used to think nurses were busy. I’m so immensely grateful for the opportunity. Throughout my time with the senior project, I mostly played in the background, and although that could be heard by hundreds of people, I derived much more satisfaction from playing for two and was able to create a much stronger connection with myself and my audience.

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