Playing instruments can help senior citizens

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 6:01 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Learning to play an instrument can help senior citizens. That’s why the Watertown Music Education Center is looking to bring older adults into the classroom.

You can learn to play the ukulele or even dabble in vocal performance.

The Watertown Music Education Center is open to all ages. The elderly are no exception.

“We really want to get the word out that all ages really means all ages,” said Christian Schenk, center director.

The center started its push for senior citizens after an elderly couple signed up for lessons.

“Their doctors told them to come here and take lessons,” said Schenk.

According to the Jefferson County Office for the Aging, picking up music can have physical and mental health benefits for senior citizens.

The beat of a drum and the sound of music can have a calming effect and be particularly helpful for people with dementia.

“It can actually bring them back to a time where they can have full discussions. They can access those memories and talk about memories,” said

Bethany Munn, director, Jefferson County Office for The Aging.

Munn says it’s also a form of exercise and can be used to help folks improve balance and mobility. Regular practices also serve as a social opportunity

One instructor tells us teaching the elderly is always a treat

“I don’t find older people any more difficult. They just have needs that may be unique to other people. Their patience is incredible and it helps them be successful,” said Mary Dawn Burdette, instructor.

Various ensembles practice on Saturdays, but private lessons can be scheduled separately. Instructors say they do what they can to be flexible.