John’s Discovery of the Miracle of Music

How I Discovered the Miracle of Music

A terrible thing could happen to you on your way to reading this narrative.  A heart attack, a cerebral hemorrhage, a stroke, or an accident could leave the left side of your brain incapable of its communication functions, leaving you without the ability to be a reader,

Grandpa John and Carolyn sing with harpist Cheryl Andela

Grandpa John and Carolyn sing with harpist Cheryl Andela

writer, speaker or comprehensive listener.

Research has shown that, fortunately, the right side of your brain could take on some of those functions – particularly when it comes to communicating through music and singing.

When I moved to the White Sands La Jolla senior community in 2008, I was attracted to the activities in the Assisted Living and Memory Care areas.  I particularly enjoyed the music and poetry presentations.

I volunteered to lend my voice and oral presentations to these groups and to their Activity Directors.  It was then that I discovered the miracle of music, the marvelous musical memories that most seniors have.  I observed patients who were incapable of telling you their names or whereabouts, yet, through the magic of music could engage in sing-alongs.  Some responded to the rhythm by tapping their feet or clapping their hands.  Others, miraculously, sang the words that were buried deep in their memories. I was inspired by patients’ enjoyment of music and poetry and learned how research on the brain and music is explaining the significance of the music I was experiencing.

Word spread among Activity Directors in the San Diego area of my interest and ability, and I was invited to lead sing-alongs in other senior living residences. I became known as “Grandpa John, the sing-along man” and have been offering my services  ever since.

John Meyer, aka Grandpa John

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