Beverly Urness has been tickling the ivories for as long as she can remember. “Nobody taught me. I just learned on my own.” And over the years, she’s taught thousands of others to play piano and share their own music with the world. All Beverly wants to do is keep playing in the second half of her life. But as her memory is challeged by dementia, the notes just don’t come to Beverly as naturally as they once used to. “My Lifespark Wish is simple: I want to continue sharing my love of music with others.”
Which is just what Amber, Beverly’s Lifespark Life Care Manager, made happen on the afternoon of May 14, 2012.
The audience filed in – neighhors, friends and music lovers of SilverCrest Summit Place where Beverly calls home. Beverly’s daughter, Karen, arrived to coach mom on her performance and escort her into the room along with Amber. Then it was time for Beverly to play. But Dan, her friend and music therapist had not arrived yet. The crowd was restless. As a true performer does, Beverly responded. Slowly and easily, she began to play … “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” first, then a few bars of “Happy Birthday.” She was definitely getting into groove … and she was thrilled when Dan arrived with the sheet music for the other songs she wanted to play!
From there, everything flowed. According to Dan, dementia patients just need encouragement and cues to trigger musical memory. It worked! Beverly played on … “Amazing Grace,” “Star Spangled Banner” and other traditional favorites … inspiring the audience to sing along as Dan accompanied the piano virtuoso with some gentle guitar chords.
It was an exciting afternoon of music, passion and purpose. For Beverly and her daughter Karen who beamed while mom lit up the room with her songs. For everyone who attended who had their afternoons sparked by Beverly’s shine from the inside out.
“Amber is a life spark in and of herself,” said Beverly’s daughter, Karen. “My mom and I are so grateful for Amber’s help – and all the Lifespark people at SilverCrest – for keeping the music alive in my mom’s life.” Play on, Beverly – play on!
See the Other Dream Rally Wishes We Granted Here: