How “Little Hearts” Got Started
Hello! My name is Melissa and I am the director of “Little Hearts, Big Music.” Our group was formed in April of 2011 after I flew to Connecticut with my two sons (ages 7 and 10) to visit my Grandmother who had just moved from her apartment into a nursing home. My children had brought their violins with them simply because they had a recital the weekend after we returned home and they couldn’t take a vacation from practicing. They brought their violins with them to the nursing home that first day and played for my Grandmother (who had played the violin as a child) in her room. When they were finished, we turned around to see that the hallway was filled with other residents listening to the music! By the end of the week the boys were playing in the dining room for lunch and dinner and were asked to come into the residents’ rooms for “private” performances. My sons were thrilled – they begged to play and never tired. They said it made them feel so good to make others happy. And the residents were so very appreciative; by the end of the trip, besides the memory of their smiles we had two potted plants, four stuffed animals, and a pound of candy to get home! And as for my Grandma, she was so proud of her “celebrity” great-grandchildren that she asked me to submit a photo and a story about our visit to her high school alumni newsletter.
The seed for “Little Hearts, Big Music” had been sown….Within a week of returning home I had lined up seven other musicians and booked two nursing homes. At our first performance one of the residents approached me after the recital and told me that she so enjoyed having the children there and that her grandchildren were so far away and we had bridged the distance for her, if only for a short time. She smiled with tears in her eyes, and I knew then that we had made a difference in this lady’s day.
My dear Grandma, or “G.G” as my boys call her, passed away on July 16, 2011. We miss her terribly, but I am thrilled for the close relationship my boys and I were able to maintain with her over the miles. I dedicate “Little Hearts, Big Music” to her. We love you, G.G.!
My goal is to have the group play at one nursing home per month. If you are the Programs Coordinator of your facility, please contact me to schedule a performance. We’d love to play for you!