J: Today's shout out goes to Mrs. Zarko, my first piano teacher. She patiently taught me the notes and the scales, and encouraged my piano playing. I needed the encouragement, because my piano prowess was not always so evident at home. We had an old player piano in the basement, and, try as I might, it just never sounded that good when I played. I would routinely hear our mom quietly closing the basement door after calling down a half hearted "it sounds good." It didn't, but I persisted.
Today, thanks to a much better piano and the miracle of fake books, I play pretty well. And now our parents love to listen! Music opens up their world. An old song brightens their eyes and lifts their spirits. Nothing makes our dad happier than to hear "Sweet Caroline" It was the song dad and I danced to on my wedding day, and now I can play it while he signs. And mom, who was often mistaken for Julie Andrews back in the day, loves nothing more than to belt out "Climb Every Mountain" It's wonderful to see the look of recognition that crosses their faces as a familiar tune begins. I am so glad that I can provide this happiness for them. Thanks Mrs. Zarko!
If you are taking care of someone with AD, crank up the victrola and play some old tunes. You will be glad you did.