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Meet the musicians

New Seabrook TV show invokes memories with music

Created date

July 31st, 2017

Pam Steadman treats her retirement as an opportunity to check things off her ever-growing bucket list. As a creative person who gets satisfaction from making goals and conquering new challenges, she’s written a trilogy of children’s books as well as several plays.

In the past year, she’s added yet another trade to her repertoire. She now hosts A Broad and Her Music, a TV show produced in Seabrook’s in-house TV studio for the community’s viewing pleasure. 

Rare opportunity

Pam most likely wouldn’t have had such an opportunity had she and her husband Wayne not moved to the Tinton Falls, N.J., community from Asbury Park last October. 

They had been visiting a former neighbor who lived there for years. They liked the concept of worry-free retirement living and could see themselves living at Seabrook. Then when assessments were due for their condo, “We thought, why not make the move now?” says Pam. 

During an official tour of the community as priority list members, Pam visited the TV studio and met two women who volunteer there. 

“I thought it would be interesting, particularly coming from a family who loves Sinatra, to do a show on music,” Pam recalls.

She wasted no time getting involved. She joined the TV studio volunteer squad and came up with the title for her show—a play on words inspired by Frank Sinatra’s term for women. 

Since first airing the show, she has welcomed guests such as neighbor Felix Lavicka and pianist Bruce Stevens-Foster. 

This month, catch Henry Vacarro, former best friend of Johnny Cash, who lives locally and has written a book about his friendship. 

Pam says she finds most guests through word of mouth and enjoys meeting each one. 

“I love meeting the people and hearing their stories. I like that more than anything. Whether they’re residents or outside musicians, it just amazes me that they have had such careers, and the memories that music invokes in them,” she says.

Name That Tune coming this fall

Pam took a summer break from airing new episodes during June and July to spend time with family—her third son and daughter-in-law were visiting from New Delhi, India. But she’s excited to get back at it and has some new additions to the show.

“In the fall we’re going to add Name That Tune. Were hoping if we put that on and bring in three to four residents and a pianist, we can get residents watching. And it gets your mind moving again,” Pam says. 

Boost memory with music

And that brings up one of the other reasons Pam hosts this show: music’s healing properties and ability to increase brain function and memory.

According to research, music has been found to stimulate parts of the brain and enhance the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. A study conducted at UC Irvine showed that scores on memory tests of Alzheimer’s patients improved when they listened to classical music. 

In her article “Boost Memory and Learning With Music,” Cheri Lucas writes: “When we hear a familiar song, we are often able to recall a moment from our past that is connected to that tune. Favorite songs tickle our memory in various ways; your child may even complain of ‘getting a song stuck in her head,’ which shows that music is easily ingrained in our memory.”

“Especially as you get older you need those memories, and music just reaches everybody,” Pam says.


Loving life at Seabrook

Since moving to Seabrook, the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J., nearly one year ago, Pam and Wayne Steadman say the one emotional state they notice most is relaxation. 

“Both my husband and I are very, very relaxed. We don’t have the outside problems of owning a condo,” she says, noting that During Hurricane Sandy their roof “peeled off,” leaving them with major repairs. 

Their convenient, fixed monthly service package includes all home maintenance, landscaping, property taxes, a flexible meal plan, utilities, and use of all amenities.

As someone who has never enjoyed cooking, Pam’s quite happy to eat one meal a day at one of Seabrook’s three on-site restaurants as part of their flexible meal plan. “I don’t have to go shopping or clean up,” she says. 

Time to do her thing

Instead of managing household responsibilities, Pam now spends her time volunteering with the TV studio, the Resident Advisory Council, and the Speakers Bureau, which invites speakers to Seabrook from both inside and outside the community. 

And she and Wayne walk around the beautiful professionally landscaped campus (that they don’t have to weed, rake, or shovel).

“I love the campus,” Pam says. “We walk the perimeter often, and it’s beautiful.” In the case of snow, heat, or rain, they can still walk through Seabrook’s hallways, as climate-controlled, glass-enclosed walkways connect every building.

As a playwright, Pam has enjoyed reading with Curtain Calls, a group of 8-12 residents who gather regularly to read plays. 

“We just have a good time,” she says.