Elders often feel left behind and forgotten. I read a news article on how elderly have some of the highest depression rates, which might exacerbate their feeling of loneliness and lead to a lower life quality. Younger musicians sometimes are shy and have stage fright, and lack of means to show (or nurture) a passion and love toward others in need. This initiative is to build a bridge and to close the gap between older and younger generations. and younger generations.
This project started back to 2018, and it is ongoing service. I am founder of Joy Group, Joy Group is a volunteering organization, with performers (volunteers) ranging from 7 years old to high school students, that I founded and am the current director of. I am also founder of Dreams Quarter, Dreams Quarter is my own student string quartet (two violinists, one violist, and one cellist). The goal of Joy Group & Dreams Quartet is to create a better Omaha community through music and a message of unity, with a focus on the elderly in the Omaha community. We do this through monthly or quarterly performances at various senior living communities across the Omaha Metro. Each of these performances is unique because we believe that each senior living community deserves to have its own special show and the best we can offer after all the work they have contributed during their lifetime to our community. For each of these shows, I have to plan each performance meticulously with a central theme in mind. I first have to reach out to senior living centers sometimes, however, these senior living communities would reach out to me. Then, I plan a certain date for the performance with the schedules of the other performers in mind. I would also plan a central theme for the performance and decide on the pieces of music, relating to the theme, that each performer could play based on their skill level and feedback from previous performances. Sometimes the pieces of music I need doesn’t exist in that skill level, arrangement, or at all. In these instances, I have spent hours arranging new music or composing music. I also plan rehearsals to ensure the whole show goes smoothly. I rehearse my own music and each of the transitions between different pieces to ensure that the performance is interactive with the audience since I’m also the host of the performances. I have had individual practice secessions with individuals that were struggling with the music to ensure everyone was prepared the best for the show. After a few performances, I decided that monthly performances, though a lot of work, weren’t enough to show our appreciation to the elderly community thus I also organize gift drives and personally delivered small tokens of appreciation, like balloons during Thanksgiving or red envelopes during Chinese New Years, to senior living communities. We have also begun making cookies and I would make the deliveries to senior living communities to remind the elderly that we care for them even when we weren’t physically there with them.