When 23-year-old Justine Myers told her friends she would be living in a retirement home while studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, they assumed she was joking.
But it was no joke.
CreditMichael F. McElroy for The New York Times
At Judson Manor, The artist-in-residence program provides furnished one-bedroom apartments to three graduate students from the Cleveland Institute of Music at no charge, for the duration of their studies. In exchange, the students perform regular concerts for the musically inclined residents.
It seemed like a common sense plan to bring music to the elderly, but it turned out to be much more than that.
“The worst thing about being this old is your weakness. I can’t describe it, but you can’t do very much and it’s pretty frustrating at times,” says 100-year-old resident Betty Hinchliff. “And hearing this wonderful music, well-performed by promising young people, it’s just very exciting. It’s almost like a shot of adrenaline.”
Justine Myers and Daniel Parvin play music for the Judson Manor residents in exchange for free accommodation while studying. (CBC)
Not only did the young people inject life into the community, but they also developed close friendships and discovered that they, themselves, are benefiting most from the innovative exchange program.