About Music For Memory
I help people remember songs they learned as children by playing melodies on my fiddle. We talk about the title of the song, where they learned it, and other memories that come up. People often sing the words quietly as I play, as the music triggers their right brain memory that was used to memorize the melodies and words years ago. I also play many dance tunes, and we talk about whether or not they danced, their favorite dances, where they danced and how they learned.
I have a blog with session notes and background information!
I also play the Reverie Harp. This instrument can be played by anyone! It is very relaxing to hold it and strum the strings. I play some songs on the Reverie Harp and offer people a chance to play it. If they are reluctant to hold it, I place it on the table in front of them and encourage them to strum it. We also use items such as pencil erasers to strike the strings, which produces interesting sounds.
I was introduced to the Reverie Harp in June of 2012. A Hospice music therapist left an instrument in my Mom's room, since she knew that I am a musician and would likely try to play it. Mom was in pain from required repositioning, and I played the Reverie Harp after the staff left her room. It was amazing to watch her relax as I played and her pain diminished. I received my Reverie Harp as a gift after Mom died. I have personally found that playing the Reverie Harp relieves my nerve pain.
I enjoy playing fiddle for groups of any size. I taught fiddling on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Central North Dakota for over eleven years and played many dances there. When I play fiddle for groups, I introduce them to many of the tunes I learned from Turtle Mountain fiddlers and talk about my experiences in the Belcourt area. I wrote an article about Turtle Mountain fiddling for Fiddler Magazine (Winter 2001).
I have a recording of fiddle waltzes, Annie's Waltzing Fiddle.
I play piano and can accompany singing and fiddling.
I taught Suzuki Method violin & piano for 34 years in my private studio. I took a "leap of faith" in 2013 when I stopped teaching and began playing for elders. I find it rewarding and energizing!
"Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory. Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can." Oliver Sacks