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Pianists play together at Silver Spring community

Created date

August 20th, 2013
Pianists play together at Silver Spring community

Elizabeth White has been playing the piano since she was six years old. As an adult, she earned a degree in piano performance from the New England Conservatory and went on to teach piano as her career. Over the years, Elizabeth has given numerous piano recitals and even performed once with the Boston Pops. In 2006, Elizabeth moved from Bowie, Md., to . target="_blank">Riderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring. She was pleased to find that quite a few of her new neighbors also enjoyed tickling the ivories. People will often play piano in the clubhouses while they re waiting for lunch or dinner. They will usually play pop or classical songs that are familiar to everyone, Elizabeth says. So, I thought, Why don t we form a piano club and get all of these people together? And that is exactly what she did.

A meeting of musicians

In April, Elizabeth launched Riderwood s first piano club, drawing a crowd of about 30 pianists for each of the first two meetings. Elizabeth usually kicks off club meetings by playing a sing-a-long version of Irving Berlin s I Love a Piano. After that, she opens the floor for people to play a number or share stories about their own experiences playing piano. The group includes other former piano teachers and performers, people who have only played for their own enjoyment, as well as those who are just now learning how to play.

Scaling up

During the spring, the group discussed how to structure their club and brainstormed other piano-related activities they could enjoy together. They plan to visit one another s homes to see each other s pianos. Elizabeth says one of the club members has a 100-year-old Steinway. The group was also planning to lend their musical talents to brighten the spirits of their neighbors who are recovering from an illness by playing piano at Riderwood s on-site continuing care neighborhood. Other plans for the piano club include a visit to Washington, D.C., to see a Japanese pianist perform. Elizabeth says they are also considering organizing an event at which residents grandchildren would come to the community to play piano and showcase their developing talents. Elizabeth says the piano club is open to all Riderwood residents, and the group is actively looking to connect with other piano players living at the community. She says the meeting format will remain casual, and she is currently surveying members to gather information about which activities they are most interested in.