A Creative Way to Enjoy an Intimate, Personal Concert

Luka Coetzee on the phone with one of the residents
Luka Coetzee on the phone with one of the residents

Being isolated means finding creative ways to enjoy your favourite music without actually being there. United Active Living arranged for small, intimate concerts with a performer from Mount Royal University’s Conservatory.  The performances were done over the phone, and gave residents the opportunity to talk with the performer and enjoy a concert just for them.

“We used to perform quite regularly at United’s Garrison Green community,” said Conservatory cellist Luka Coetzee. “Since that isn’t possible right now, I was asked if I could play for several residents over the phone. I chose Going Home by Antonin Dvorak.” You can watch Luka play a similar piece by going to her YouTube channel below.

Resident Marion Enta on the phone with Luka Coetzee
Resident Marion Enta on the phone with Luka Coetzee

“Playing for residents this way was a new experience for me,” said Luka. “I really enjoyed playing for them. Some of them remembered seeing me play when we were able to go into the community. I know they are isolated, so hearing their reaction filled me with gratitude. I was so glad I could bring them a little joy.”

“I heard her before when they played here,” said Garrison Green resident Marion Enta. “She is a very impressive cellist. Hearing her on the phone isn’t the same as being able to see her play live, but it was a very nice thought to give us the opportunity to hear her play.”

Marion has been involved in music for many years. Her children went through the Suzuki program at Mount Royal, learning to play the violin and cello. “Any way United can find to help us stay active and engaged is most welcome. I look forward to being able to go to concerts again.”

Trudy Martin shows off the ear protectors she and others have knitted
Trudy Martin with some of the ear protectors she and others have knitted

Speaking of staying engaged, the creative facilitators at Garrison Green interested residents in knitting ear protectors for employees who wear face masks all day. “They have become quite the rage on the Internet,” said resident Trudy Martin. “Creative facilitator Monica Schmidt found a pattern on the Internet and we started making them a few weeks ago.”

The ear protectors lift the mask’s elastic band off the top of the ear. The elastic is held in place with two buttons sewn into the fabric. It makes wearing the masks for long periods of time far more comfortable.

“We’ve made about 25 so far. It’s gone crazy! The employees have fallen in love with them and are always asking for more. We will need to do another 25 or so just to keep up with demand. We gave a few to the chefs in the kitchen. They aren’t just for women. The men appreciate them as well. It’s been a really positive thing for everyone,” said Trudy.

Photos by United Active Living, the Coetzee family.

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The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once it’s safe to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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