This idea came around September. I had been thinking about what I wanted to do for my Gold Award for a long time. I knew I wanted to have something to do with music, because I have been playing cello for six years, and it was something that I knew pretty well.
So, after the first meeting with my facilitator, Gloria Avillar, we came up with the idea of doing a concert series at retirement homes to share the health benefits of classical music with the elderly.
This journey has been one of the best experiences of my life. All in all, I went to nine retirement homes and played for more than 200 people with more than 20 different teens (there are usually four or five of them with me in each performance).
We would play our pieces, and then spend time talking with the residents. Within the communities, I got to meet so many people with very interesting pasts. I’ve met a former Atlanta Symphony violinist, a brass sculptor who created the statues in front of Samford University, and so many more people from all over the place. Seeing their smiles and excitement at hearing us teens play every week is what made this entire experience completely worth the time and effort.
The coolest thing was how willing people were to give up a few hours of their Saturday to come play. There were some people I’ve never even met before who were super excited to drive down and perform. It really surprised me how willing they were to play for people they didn’t know, to help someone they also didn’t know. I got to see some performers gradually get less nervous each time they performed.
With all my goals accomplished, I have completed this concert series, and I’ve made some really good friends along the way. I’m really grateful that I had the chance to do this with them and for these communities.
By Claire Chen is a senior at River Ridge High School and has been a Girl Scout for six years. She earned a Gold Award for this project.