For the past several years, my sweet Eighty-something grandmother has volunteered every week to play piano for folks in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She has an incredibly large repertoire of songs, all of which she plays by request for her darling audiences, entirely from memory. This summer, my daughters were able to join her in her weekly performances (at three different facilities — she gets around!), and I wanted to share a little bit about that experience.
First, it was seriously fun to see how much Grandma enjoyed having some fiddlers in her show. She was so excited to have them there, to introduce them to her friends, and to play along with them. My girls inherited their musical ear from this great woman, and it was a treat to see her eyes light up when my oldest finally got up the courage to play an unrehearsed tune in front of an audience along with the piano. The girls loved hearing her play old standards like The Tennessee Waltz, Blue Hawaii, Five Foot Two Eyes of Blue, & Springtime in the Rockies.
Spending Time with Grandparents
Here are some of the benefits my girls gain by spending time with grandparents:
1-Character – having the opportunity to see their grandmother’s example of service helps build their own character. They can see the good she is doing, and they are learning from her to do the same.
2-Connection – shared time is the basic building block of relationships. Just being together provides opportunities to connect, to get to know each other better, and to just enjoy.
3-History – Grandma has seen and experienced so many things in her life, I want my girls to learn as much as possible, and to love being with her. It was so fun to listen to the historic music she loves with them, to see them smile and tap their toes, and play along.
4-Skills – in our circumstance, this activity provided the chance to improve their own performance skills. Getting more comfortable in front of a group of people and gaining confidence in their musical ability is a win-win! Whether it’s honing skills they’ve developed on their own, or learning something new from a grandparent, there are many opportunities for growth in spending time with grandparents!
What are your favorite ways to provide your children with Grandma time?