Chatham High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society donated 12 iPod shuffles, loaded with thoughtfully selected songs, to the Louis F. Payn Foundation Retirement Residence in Chatham. This gift was the culmination of a two-year-long fund raising campaign carried out by over 30 student members of the school’s Tri-M chapter.
Chatham’s Tri-M chapter, under the direction of faculty adviser James Haertel, set out to donate the digital audio players to the senior residents as part of an initiative to spread the love of music. Research has shown that when people listen to their favorite music it not only relaxes them, but has other beneficial effects on the mind, including easing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. As part of the project, the Tri-M chapter watched a clip of a documentary where a patient struggling with Alzheimer’s “woke up” and was communicating with those around him again after listening to a familiar song. Music is truly amazing!
Over the course of two years, the students visited the Payne Home to meet with the residents, discuss their favorite musicians and musical genres, and devise playlists for the iPod shuffles that the residents would enjoy. To fund the project, the students held a donate-what-you-can bake sale and worked a concession table at Columbia County’s All-County Music Festival, through which they raised over $900! They divided the iPods into different genres, loaded music onto each, and on June 21st delivered the digital audio players to the Payne Home, where the students showed the residents how they work. It truly was an amazing experience!
Tri-M Music Honor Society is a national honor society for student musicians who not only are excellent musically, but also academically (having an 85 average or higher in all classes). Students chosen to be in Tri-M are great students, amazing musicians, and wonderful leaders who make the world a better place through music.
Special thanks to Debi Layton, Lucas Christensen, the McCormick family, and the Chatham community. Without your help, this wouldn’t have been possible!