The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA) is proud to partner with the a local chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, supervised by local music teacher Mr. James Nacy, to bring pre-recorded musical performances to St. Louis-area seniors.
This partnership was established late summer of 2020 when Phanisri Shaddersanam, a recent graduate of Marquette High School in West County and former president of Tri-M, approached VNA about volunteer opportunities, a conversation that turned into a discussion regarding how Tri-M could team up with VNA to provide seniors with a valuable, creative service.
Tri-M is a club that examines the intersection between service and music, pushing musically inclined students to pursue activities that benefit the community. The bulk of their activity revolves around service activities that allow students to express their musical passion through the ways they engage with their community.
For VNA, Tri-M members are recording videos of themselves performing self-selected solos and small ensemble pieces to be distributed on the VNA website for seniors to access and enjoy in an effort to promote music therapy and appreciation.
“This is a great opportunity for students to share their passion for music to a larger community,” says Lawrence Liu, current president of Tri-M. “They get to share it not just within the school community but with the entire St. Louis region and those under the care of the VNA network.”
The original idea was to perform live for seniors, but as the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited in-person activities, another route had to be taken. By recording these performances, more seniors will have access to them via the internet and can experience their potential for instilling joy and healing.
“It’s neat to get a volunteer opportunity where you can display your passion,” says Shaddersanam. “There are lots of volunteer opportunities where you get to examine something you are unfamiliar with, but it’s rare to get an opportunity where you can use your talents to their fullest extent. I hope musicians will participate in this to improve the community and benefit somebody by doing what they love.
For more information or to watch the videos, visit https://www.vnastl.org/music-appreciation