Mending Melodies: connecting with seniors through music

“Mending Melodies is not just about music; it’s about using our passion for music to foster connections and make a positive impact on the lives of others,” said Flora Mei, Mending Melodies Co-President.

Mending Melodies got its start as a Senior Capstone project. Students taking the yearlong course are tasked with creating a community-oriented research project centered on a topic of their choice. Madie Phillips (‘23) came up with the idea to connect with the elderly through music.

“Much of Madie’s reasoning behind beginning the project last year was based on studies that definitively show the benefits music can have on quality of life and memory for the elderly. By bringing some joy and positivity to the residents through their performances, students are using their skills and hard work in a way they enjoy that also provides a benefit to others,” said Club Advisor Dan Blumenthal.

After graduating, Madie turned the reins over to two Presidents, Flora Mei and Lauren Caporaso. They’ve turned the group into an official school club.

“I quickly discovered just how much I enjoyed the club when I saw how much the performances impacted the residents, so I didn’t hesitate to accept when Madie asked if I wanted to be an officer this year,” said Lauren Caporaso, Mending Melodies Co-President.

Mending Melodies has built a strong relationship with Nottingham’s Memory Care unit in Jamesville, where they frequently perform. The student-led club is a prime example of the district’s ongoing efforts to increase community engagement. It’s one of the four main focus areas of the district’s 2020-25 Strategic Plan.

“Beyond honing musical skills, students gain invaluable experiences in empathy, compassion, and connecting with the community. It’s a powerful way for them to witness the positive impact of their music on residents,” said Flora.

It can also be a great opportunity to build confidence in performing.

“We have a ton of really skilled student musicians at the high school, so anytime we are able to find another avenue for them to prepare for and give a formal performance in front of a live audience, the better! The only way to get comfortable performing especially in a solo or small-group setting is to perform,” said Blumenthal.

Mending Melodies currently has about 15 active members. Participation fluctuates throughout the school year. The club is open to any student who
likes to sing or play an instrument.