My friend and fellow folk singer, Skip Jones, called me out of the blue just after I returned home from the first leg of my summer library tour.  It had been a long time since we last spoke, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear his voice on the other end of the line.  He had a last minute scheduling conflict, and needed someone to fill in for him at the St. Mary's Care Center in Madison.  

St. Mary's resident playing my harp.


As it turned out, I had the day free, so I drove down and had great time playing for all the residents.  They had a great time too!  It wasn't hard to find volunteers to play rhythm instruments, rainsticks, and the thunder drum.   Since we were in the midst of an unrelenting drought, one of the residents joked that we should take the rainsticks outside and play them to try to make it rain.  These folks were willing singers and they weren't shy about joining in. They knew all the old standards.

Another harp playerOne thing I see consistently with senior audiences after my shows, is how much the residents enjoy having the opportunity to play some of my instruments.  The most popular is the harp.  I can't tell you how many folks tell me they always wished they could play one.  They are usually concerned that it will be too hard, and are over-joyed to find out how easy it is to make a pleasant sound on a harp.  If you look closely at this picture, you'll see someone sitting near the window in the background.  I don't remember this man's name, but while he was waiting for someone to take him back to his room, we were able to find something for him to play.  He told me he hands didn't work so well anymore, but he was able to pluck my ukelele and lightly play some rhythm instruments.  He was barely able to move or speak, but he bade me a quiet, "thank you," before I left.  I have learned to never underestimate the power of music as therapy.  

Another St. Mary's resident trying out the harp. These folks had been unable to spend much time outside due to the extreme heat of the early summer.  So hence the last minute request for a program - they needed something to fill a Saturday afternoon.  I had a lot of fun and got to make some new friends in the process.


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New Release

Diane's new single, an original, finger-style guitar tune, "Afternoon By A Stream," is out now on iTunes!

You can also purchase a download directly through CD Baby on Diane's SHOP page.


An image of a young boy wading in a shallow stream surrounded by moss-covered, sandstone cliffs