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Teen pianist shares music with nursing home patients through performance videos

When the pandemic paused in-person performances, 15-year-old Emaan Sayied decided to share her talents with a community who really needs it.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many nursing home patients haven’t been able to have any visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, but a Louisville teen isn’t letting that stop her from using music to bring people together.

Emaan Sayied, 15, is used to playing the piano in front of crowds. While the pandemic put a pause on in-person performances, Sayied wanted to make sure others could still enjoy the music she loves.

“Music is therapeutic,” she said. “It’s great to listen to. Who doesn’t like listening to music when they’re feeling down? And that’s exactly what we’re doing – just in a safer way.”

She recruited some of her other musical friends to help create videos for nursing home patients. They dress in their performance best and play whatever comes to mind – either from sheet music or memory. Every song seems to hit the right note.

“They’re always really happy, really grateful,” Sayied said. “It also helps patients that might have dementia or Alzheimer’s to just listen to music.”

Credit: Emaan Sayied
Emaan Sayied, 15, records herself playing piano and shares the videos with local nursing home patients.

It may seem a bit old school, but the performances are printed on DVDs, so patients without internet access are still able to watch them. When it’s safe, larger groups can also gather for a “concert” experience.

“It just makes me feel happy to have something that I can do for them and have a way to give it to them,” Sayied said.

So far, Sayied has been able to collect 17 performance videos, but she’s hoping to get more people involved. While she’s starting school soon, she said she plans on continuing making the videos as long as the pandemic is keeping everyone socially distant.

If you’re interested in helping create a video, she’s looking for volunteers and all talents – not just musical - are welcome.

Visit the Euphony Louisville website for more information.

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