POSTED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 5:44pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 7:09pm
EL PASO - Retirement home residents all over El Paso get a real treat courtesy of a group of songstresses. Sixteen members of the Junior League of El Paso visit a different place each week and perform for senior citizens. They call it Music Therapy for the Elderly and those present enjoy hearing some songs from the past to relieve the good ol' days.
Clapping, singing and smiling is the reaction the "Good Time Singers" see during their weekly performances. "This gives them an activity to look forward to and it gives them some interaction and it brings back a ton of memories," said Music Therapy for the Elderly chair Noelle Lowenfield.
The "Good Time Singers" are a group of women from the Junior League of El Paso, a non-profit charitable organization that does numerous projects to serve the community. This project is called "Music Therapy for the Elderly" and they perform more than 40 popular songs from the 30s, 40s and 50s. It's something the residents appreciate. "I think they really inject a feeling of happiness," said Paul. "The music they sing was from years ago and that was good music. Today it's beep boop."
The "Good Time Singers" perform from November through May, but before going in front of the audience, they practice for four months every week for two and a half hours.
Paul says their hard work paid off. He loved every single song. "I cannot pick one because I thought they were all excellent," said Paul. "They even got me dancing, which I love to do. "
In total they sing five different genres, which required five wardrobe changes. Humor is also a big part of their performance. They use different props and choreography to amuse the audience. "It's too bad but people forget to laugh a lot and laughter keeps you living a long time," said nursing home resident Crystelle Sanders. "I think it's awfully nice for them to do it. And they've done it for so many years."
In fact this is the Junior League's longest-running project. "We've been doing this for 21 years and so many have been doing it for 21 years because we can't get away from it because we love it so much," said Noelle.
Although each performance is special and the ladies get all kinds of grateful comments, there are some that are music to their ears. "A resident came up to us and said, 'I just have to tell you, that you all make my day, my week, my month and my year.' And I started to cry a little bit and I thought, 'This is why we do it.' It's an amazing project," said Noelle.
If you'd like to volunteer or make a donation to "Music Therapy for the Elderly" contact the Junior League of El Paso at 584-3511 or visit their website jlep.org.