Monthly Archives: May 2015

Music to our ears

Music is an international language.  It is such a powerful tool that brings people together.  Every decade had its best artists.  In this blog I want to concentrate on three decades, and henceforth take you on a nostalgic trip back in time to one of the best artists of the 1940’s.

Count Basie

Music in the 1940s was mainly built around the jazz and big band styles that were popular during the day. Artists like Rosemary Clooney, and Artie Shaw helped to define the musical era with their unique brand of entertaining crowds through their music.   William James “Count” Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise accompaniment for silent films at a local movie theater in his home town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16 he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924 he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten‘s band in Kansas City, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935.

That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two “split” tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump“, developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and later “April in Paris“.

William Basie was born to Harvey Lee and Lillian Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey.  His father worked as a coachman and caretaker for a wealthy judge. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area.  Both of his parents had some type of musical background. His father played the mellophone, and his mother played the piano; in fact, she gave Basie his first piano lessons. She took in laundry and baked cakes for sale for a living. She paid 25 cents a lesson for piano instruction for him.

Not much of a student in school, Basie dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by touring carnivals which came to town. He finished junior high schoolbut spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. He quickly learned to improvise music appropriate to the acts and the silent movies.

Though a natural at the piano, Basie preferred drums. Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who also lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington‘s drummer in 1919, Basie at age 15 switched to piano exclusively.  Greer and Basie played together in venues until Greer set out on his professional career. By then, Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances, resorts, and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson’s “Kings of Syncopation”.  When not playing a gig, he hung out at the local pool hall with other musicians, where he picked up on upcoming play dates and gossip. He got some jobs in Asbury Park at the Jersey Shore, and played at the Hong Kong Inn until a better player took his place.

Count Basie’s music is timeless here at Harmony at 154th Street.  Besides providing pre-recorded music from great artists of that time, and other eras; we also provide live musical entertainment.  Many people who attend our center love the live entertainment/sing along aspect of our center.  It is scientifically proven that singing out loud makes you feel emotionally, physically, and mentally better.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this; music is a powerful tool, and we take full advantage of it here in Harmony at 154th Street. Come join us and bring music to our ears!

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to depression, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Wii want to play

Let me take you back to the late 1940’s and 1950’s for a moment.  This is a beautiful era that even people born in a later era can appreciate.   Modern culture still has a fascination with the fads, crazes and pop sensations from the age when the whole family sat down for dinner every night and a car with fins could get you a date. But there was more to the 1950s than sock hops and drive-ins; some of the trends and social movements that came out of that decade, such as the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the widespread adoption of TV, continue to shape our lives today. Rock music captivated the younger set, although their elders disapproved. Elvis Presley entered the living room through the Ed Sullivan variety show, which was broadcast in black and white. RCA first broadcast color television in June, 1951, but it was not yet available to the masses. “I Love Lucy,” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “The Twilight Zone” are examples of popular shows at the time. Children celebrated their birthdays with parties at skating rinks. Hula Hoops, Barbie dolls and electric train sets are representative toys of the 1950s. All ages enjoyed dancing and dancing lessons.

Many people took their entire families to drive-in movie theaters. Favorite films of the era included “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant”. Musicals such as “South Pacific” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” were also hits. James Dean and Marilyn Monroe are iconic stars of the 50s. Children preferred the matinee westerns shown at local theaters starring Gene Autry or Roy Rogers. Much of the fun of the 1950s was family oriented and centered around the children of the post-war baby boom.  The point is people have always had different ways of entertaining themselves. Now in 2015; forms of entertainment have changed.  Although the concept remains the same;  the way to achieve “being entertained” has really changed.  With technological advancements and breakthroughs; people have found new ways to stay active and interactive.  One of those ways is through a video game consul known as the Nintendo Wii. Senior citizens and children can agree that Nintendo Wii is just a whole lot of fun.

Our participants really enjoy playing wii bowling on our wall size big screen.  Along with wii bowling we also have wii golf, wii tennis, and other enjoyable games that make time fly by.  The Nintendo Wii requires you to use your body as the controller for the game.  You’re not just sitting in one spot staring at a screen.  Instead, you are the player in the game.  This not only provides entertainment, but it also provides and promotes better blood circulation, and overall health.  It is really easy to play. Many people are turned off to learning new things because they fear that it will be too difficult, but our staff here at Harmony at 154th street will walk you through the simple process.  We know that once you get the hang of it you’re not going to stop playing.

Harmony at 154th Street has your best health in mind.  If you suffer from stiffness, or from depression let us help.  Our center has provided many people with better living.  We believe that you will enjoy your time here so much that we offer everyone a free one day pass to come and enjoy themselves playing wii, doing arts and crafts, listening to live music, playing pool and other great and interactive activities that will start you off to better health from day one.  Call us today!

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to poor circulation, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Bookworms welcomed

Does anyone remember Levar Burton? He was the host of a famous PBS show that aired on June 6, 1983 called The Reading Rainbow.   On this show; Levar Burton; took you into brief synopses of different books to create interest in reading.  The show included animations to induce even more interest in the books he was showcasing.  Before there was computers, internet, cell phones, and video game consuls; there was reading.  Many people enjoy reading still.  Reading has many advantages.  It increases vocabulary, focus, and imagination.  It also improves problem solving, and it can ward off dementia and delirium. For the next few paragraphs I will attempt to do what Levar Burton did on Reading Rainbow, and give you a brief synopses of three books which are fan favorites here at Harmony Social Adult Day Care.

Honeymoon by James Patterson

The honeymoon is over–now the murders can begin. America’s #1 thriller writer returns with his sexiest, scariest novel ever. Hotter than The Beach House and scarier than Kiss the Girls, James Patterson’s explosive new thriller introduces a bride who is beautiful, talented, devoted–and deadly.

When a young investment banker dies of baffling causes, FBI agent John O’Hara immediately suspects the only witness, the banker’s alluring and mysterious fiancee

Nora Sinclair is a beautiful decorator who expects the best, and will do anything to get it. Agent O’Hara keeps closing in, but the stronger his case, the less he knows whether he’s pursuing justice or his own fatal obsession.

In a novel so compelling it reads like a collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, James Patterson unveils surprise after surprise that will keep readers guessing until the last deadly kiss.

When the wind blows by James Patterson

Frannie O’Neill is a young and talented veterinarian living in Colorado. Plagued by the mysterious murder of her husband, David, a local doctor, Frannie throws herself into her work. It is not long before another bizarre murder occurs and Kit Harrison, a troubled and unconventional FBI agent, arrives on her doorstep.

Late one night, near the woods of her animal hospital, Frannie stumbles upon a strange, astonishing phenomenon that will change the course of her life forever….

Her name is Max.

With breathtaking energy, eleven-year-old Max leads Frannie and Kit to uncover one of the most diabolical and inhuman plots of modern science. When the Wind Blows is as unique a story as has ever been told, filled with suspense and passion. This is by far James Patterson’s best book to date.

Catcher in the rye JD Salinger

This is one of the most remarkable books published in years. It is the story of sixteen year old Holden Caulfield, who wants desperately to find himself, but who goes underground in New York for forty eight hours when he is overwhelmed by the perplexing circumstances of his life. Read the first page and you will not be able to stop until you have completed this wild and magic adventure with him.

Besides these fantastic reads we have a library full of Spanish and English literature for your reading pleasure.  Why don’t you just stop by and see for yourself? We want to know what your favorite book is, and who your favorite author is.  Join our book club and explore new books together here at Harmony at 154th.  Besides books we offer wide range of activities for you to enjoy. We also offer free breakfast and lunch to all of our participants.  Call us today to schedule your free visit to Harmony at 154th.  Transportation is free.  718-585-5440.

At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to health issues, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

Bookworm