Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts

The following post is written by Jessica, a current study in Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts.  Jessica and her Coffeehouse club member performed a lovely piano duet today at our end of the semester celebration.  It was a fantastic event!  Thank you to the faculty, staff, club members and students to make this course possible. ~Anne Mondro, Professor of Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts

I am an Art & Design student at the University of Michigan. I mainly like to draw and paint, so when I signed up for this class I couldn’t have expected to end up meeting a Coffee House member who would rekindle my love for music and make me realize the amazing healing power music can have. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school I had taken piano lessons, but since coming to college I’ve only touched a piano to show off with a few measures of the only piece I can still remember how to play. Before this class, I had lost touch with how fun and rewarding it is to sit down at a piano and learn a piece, or even to listen to classical music.

During one session, we listened to playlists made specifically for the members. It really struck me when my community partner listened to his playlist and instantly entered what seemed to be such a happy state. We couldn’t think of the names of many of the pieces in the playlist, but my partner could hum them perfectly. The gaps between our generations seemed to close when we connected over our favorite composers. Music really seems to turn off any worries or frustrations, and throughout this class I think it has allowed us both to “zone out” and enjoy the creativity that goes into making beautiful music. I look forward to being able to share a musical performance together.

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