Old Pianos Find a New Life Thanks to the Tacy Foundation

An upright piano found a new home and a new life giving low-to-moderate seniors a chance to enjoy music, thanks to the Tacy Foundation.

Through the Tacy Foundation youth with talent in music provide free concerts at hospitals and senior centers. They also provide free music lessons through the Piano Pals program to both seniors and low-income youth.

The young Tacy volunteers were giving a concert to the seniors Forest Oak Towers in Gaithersburg, Md., a property managed by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. Foundation President Charlotte Holliday noticed that Forest Oak Towers’ upright keyboard had a broken leg.

She decided the foundation would donate an upright piano to the Forest Oak seniors. A quick conversation with Resident Counselor Jean McCloskey set the plan in motion. The foundation also covered $300 in moving expenses and $400 in dolly costs so piano could be moved between rooms.

“Having the dolly under the piano was important,” said McCloskey. “We have multi-purpose rooms, so one day we could be having music and the next day we could need that space for an exercise class. We appreciate the flexibility.”

Tacy volunteers now play the new piano at Forest Oak Towers, continuing to share their talents with the seniors. The new piano has also helped one of Tacy’s adult coordinators provide a Forest Oak senior with piano lessons through Piano Pals. In addition, the piano has helped other organizations enhance the services they provide the seniors.

“When Goshen United Methodist provides their monthly dinners they now use the piano. In February, they played spirituals in honor of Black History Month,” said McCloskey. “Grace Church Germantown also used the piano for their Christmas programs. The piano is doing a lot of good in addition to the Christmas events and regular concerts that the Tacy Foundation provided for us.”

The piano has also helped one senior re-connect with her own musical talent.

“One of our residents came downstairs with her caregiver. I showed her then new piano. This is a very shy lady who only speaks a little English, but she is very talented,” said McCloskey. “She refuses to play in public because she is so shy, but I wish you could have heard her on the piano. She played Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” from memory and the music flowed so beautifully.”

The piano is one of three being donated. The foundation has given pianos to Holly Hill Apartments, Silver Spring, Md., and Bauer Park Apartments in Rockville, so that even more seniors will have the joy of music. The foundation also expects to have a grant piano donated in the future.

“In addition to Forest Oak, the Piano Pals for seniors program is being implemented at Bauer Park, Holly Hall, Town Center and Waverly Place,” said Charlotte Holliday.  “When our volunteer youth teach seniors to play the piano and learn music notation lessons they may be able to help some of their pupils forestall dementia and strengthen their memory.”

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