When she couldn’t see her grandparents in person during the March 2020 stay-at-home order, only visiting virtually, sophomore Grace Sun realized that if she could do a virtual performance for them, she could expand her audience to include other senior citizens. Enlisting friends who also needed a performance outlet, the student club Melodies for Remedies was founded.
Watching news coverage, Grace “learned that the seniors are the most vulnerable group in this COVID-19 pandemic.” Remembering some of the seniors she met during a class performance last year at a local center, she said this was an audience who “really appreciated the music of a live concert.” So, she “decided to share my piano performance with them and started doing a couple of online concerts with a few close friends. Our goal in providing a variety of music, singing and dancing is to help the seniors experience the same comfort and belonging as when they are with others.”
To date, the students have hosted five live Zoom concerts, each lasting approximately an hour to an hour and a half. In addition, they’ve compiled two shorter recordings on YouTube for audiences to access any time. A third compilation is in production, and the group meets monthly on Zoom. Bishop’s club members include Joseph Aguilar ’22, Isadora Blatt ’24, Annalise Chang ’23, Raphael Delgado ’24, Sophia Gleeson ’24, Bela Gowda ’24, Alex Kuncz ’21, Emma Li ’22, Paul Madany ’22, Novalyne Petreikis ’23, Andrea Rix ’22, Bhadra Rupesh ’24, Katelyn Wang ’23, Shirley Xu ’23 and Emily Zhu ’23, as well as a handful of students from other schools.
It’s not only the audience who benefits. Grace reflects, “COVID-19 has affected performing artists a lot. We are not able to have lessons together, practice or attend recitals together. It is very hard for us to establish and grow the same strong relationships with our peers during this time. However, I feel very fortunate to have many wonderful student musicians, singers, dancers and performing artists supporting this cause as well as having many senior homes that love our performances. The Melodies for Remedies Club has great opportunities to connect with others who have the same passion for music and performing arts as well as serve the community around us. Also, I’m very grateful to have Dr. Micu and Mr. Anderson as our club supervisors, as they are always available when I need help. Their advice ranges from how to run a live concert smoothly to how to handle a music copyright question, which is really helpful. I feel more confident with their help and support.”
While live concerts remain a goal for the future, in the meantime, the students are receiving “positive, meaningful feedback” from their audiences for both the Zoom and recorded events.
- “Thank you very much for your performance. I noticed a few of our residents attended and they spoke very highly of your group. Please thank all of the musicians/performers for a wonderful event. Keep us in mind for future performances.”
- “I'm circulating the link, what lovely music!!! I even sent it to my family in Malibu!!”
- “The residents really enjoyed it! You guys did a great job. Thank you!”