June 21 is World Music Day! To celebrate, we are recognizing a Sunrise on Old Meridian, IN, resident who has filled her community with the joy of music.

Shannon began playing the piano in second grade. She would practice for one hour a day, six days a week.

“My piano was my best friend,” Shannon says.

Her passion for the piano has persisted throughout her entire life, both professionally and personally. She served as the music director for three different Lutheran churches over a 32-year span. And, through 61 years of marriage, Shannon has played countless songs to accompany her husband Bob’s singing.

Shannon and Bob each now live in Sunrise on Old Meridian: Shannon in Independent Living, and Bob in Reminiscence. Their love of music has continued to bring them joy in their new home—and they’ve attracted more music lovers, too!

When Bob moved into the Reminiscence neighborhood, Shannon made it a habit to accompany him to the Assisted Living family room so that they could enjoy music together. Research shows that music can help to engage multiple parts of the brain, and it can enable those living with memory loss to communicate with others and express themselves.

“At this point in his life, it’s the one thing he still loves to do and can do,” says Shannon. “He may not remember things, but he still knows the words to every song I play.”

As Shannon played the piano for her husband, other residents began to hear the melodies and join the couple in the family room to listen. The group has now grown to over 20 residents!

From all neighborhoods of the community, they line the halls and fill the family room in anticipation for Shannon’s 4:00 p.m. Tuesday show. She tells stories about her years of playing the piano and how it all began, and she even takes requests from the audience!

“We love music! Especially music that we’re familiar with,” say Alice and her husband, Elmer.

“She gets people singing,” adds Gerry.

And, Shannon notes, it doesn’t matter if someone sings off-key. It’s just about enjoying the music and the companionship with other residents.

 “God put me here (Sunrise) to bring music to people,” says Shannon. “The more I can share music with other people, the happier it makes me.” 

Shannon’s concerts have developed into a beautiful example of the positive effects that Live With Melody programming can have.

“We love hearing Shannon and the residents singing ‘Yankee Doodle,’ ‘Back Home Again in Indiana,’ ‘America the Beautiful,’ to name just a few,” says Jennifer, a sales assistant at the community. “In just a few short weeks, this 30–45-minute gathering has become one of our residents’ favorite events. We find this the perfect story of Living With Purpose!”

Live With Purpose at Sunrise

Team members at every Sunrise community work to engage residents in personalized activities and outings to enrich the mind, body, and spirit. Whether it’s a weekly singalong event or daily exercise classes, our residents always have something to look forward to. Check out our eight signature Live With Purpose programs to learn more!



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