ECE Coffee Talk: Music & Memory

ECE Coffee Talk is a new series we are beginning where, periodically, one of our agents or artists will share a more personal post full of musings and/or insight. Basically, talking and rehashing life as if you were sitting across from each other sipping coffee. ECE Richmond agent, Stacy Schnetzka, is kicking off the series today. Grab your mug and pull up a chair…

August already?!

I’m still trying to grasp how we are already over halfway through 2016! After the frenetic pace of the past 7 months, I’m allowing myself just a bit of downtime to catch my breath before launching into the second half of the year. So many wonderful life celebrations have happened over these past months, and there are many more to come.

In the wake of too many recent tragedies, it is such a joy to be able to focus on the positive moments in life. One of the reasons I love my job (and this industry) so much is because I’m able to take part in those monumental life celebrations every day. Clients aren’t calling me because they ‘have’ to buy something. They are contacting me because they are hoping to make their special celebration even more special by adding the element of live music.Stacy Quote
No  other art form is as connected to memory and emotion as music. Think about that. When you hear a special song, aren’t you immediately transported to a certain place? Because I like to stop in on many of my clients’ events, I often see some of that magic that is happening when the guests connect with the band’s energy. Our bands give it their all for hours on end, and the guests still want just ‘one more song!’ before the night is done. Nothing beats following up with my clients and hearing how much fun they had because the band set the perfect atmosphere for the night. Entertainment creates emotion.

Not a surprise to many of you, but I tend to be a bit of workaholic. To bring harmony to my life, it is important for me to volunteer in our community. I’ve been fortunate to find a volunteer project that connects my passion for music with my desire to help others, and illustrates the very profound link between music and the biggest moments of our lives.

Music & Memory, Inc. seeks to provide personalized, therapeutic musical experiences to elderly patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other health challenges. Across nursing homes, hospitals, hospice, home care, and more, the program has benefited thousands of individuals, and I’ve seen firsthand how important its impact can be.

Once a week or so, I steal away from the office to sit with a nursing home resident, now in mid-to-late stages of dementia, and act as her ‘Listening Companion.’ Together, we listen to songs that transport her to another time and place. I’m there every week, and she never recognizes me, but that is okay. For that time we are together, she listens to the music. It is incredible to witness this woman recall every single word to the songs. She cannot recall what happened earlier that day, but launches right into song when the music is played.

Be it a 25 year-old bride or an 85 year-old nursing home patient, music reaches into the mind and stays with us across lifetimes. Cheers to new memories soon to be made, and to the music that will help keep those memories alive!

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