Tag Archives: Sing along

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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Caroling in perfect Harmony

In my 30 years of life I have only gone caroling once for the holidays.  I was maybe 11 or 12 when my church group decided to go door to door singing Christmas classics. We started by visiting people we knew and worked our way to the homes of strangers.  There are two things I remember about that day one I was cold and two I was embarrassed.  After all I was obliged to participate.  All my friends were going and I didn’t want them to look at me like a Debbie downer.  Caroling is something that is no longer seen; at least not in the metropolis known as New York City.  The truth is that the times are bad and going door to door isn’t advised.  Back in the 90’s we were with a large group of people under much supervision.

Caroling began back in the 19th century, and its original intent was not confined to Christmas songs alone.  Caroling involved a group of people going door to door at anytime of the year to sing to the residents of that town.  In spite of being frozen and a little embarrassed on the day that I went; I was overtaken by two things, and that was the joy that we evidently brought to the families we visited and that we all sang in perfect Harmony although we weren’t all singers.

At our center Harmony Social Adult Day Care Bronx, we are keeping this tradition alive by singing along to your favorite Christmas songs.  One of the many things we do here at Harmony is sing-alongs/karaoke.  I can honestly say that sing alongs and karaoke is one of our participant’s favorites.  Studies prove that singing aloud naturally changes your mood by making you happier.  Try it! Next time you’re feeling down or if you’re upset.  Personally it has worked for me.  Harmony at 154th street’s goal is to keep you happy and healthy.  We are sure that singing along to one of your favorite songs will drastically improve your mood.  Staying home, enclosed within 4 walls is not going to make anything better.  Come to Harmony and socialize with people that are just like you.  Just like my friends, and me we weren’t all singers, but we all sang in perfect harmony on that night.  Our participants are from different walks of life but when we come together it’s perfect.  Harmony at 154th is proud to say that we are more than just another center… We are your family away from home.  Whether you’re a singer or not; there is an activity for anything you fancy to drastically change your outlook on life.

Join us today, and be part of a growing community that refuses to succumb to inactivity, lethargy, depression, and hopelessness.  Be part of a community that holds on to independence, longevity, laughter, and good times.  That community is Harmony Social Adult Day Care.

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 home confinement, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-741-5956. Or you can visit our website at www.1st-care.org or www.harmonyadultdaycare.com

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Deck the halls with boughs of Harmony

Everyone’s favorite season is right around the corner.  A season packed with incandescent lights, sugar cookies, warm peppermint lattes, Christmas trees, and of course gifts! Who doesn’t love Christmas?! Christmas is more than just material goods, but more importantly it’s a time for family to come together and enjoy quality time with each other.  During this time people all over the world fly, drive, or take other forms of transportation to see their families.  Family should be the most important thing in our lives.  Unfortunately there are many people that don’t have anyone to share this season with.  There are many reasons for this. Both the family member lives too far and the resources to travel are not available; or sadly to say; many family members are neglected and forgotten about.  Luckily we’re here to deck the halls with boughs of Harmony.

We here at Harmony at 154th street celebrate all major holidays including Christmas.  We are your family away from family.  This past thanksgiving we had a pot luck dinner with some of our participants.  Needless to say the food was superb! Honestly my thanksgiving at Harmony was better than my own at home.  View the pictures below.  A few of our participants came to me personally and thanked me and Harmony for putting together this lunch the day after Thanksgiving because they themselves did not have family to spend thanksgiving with this year.  These testimonials have warmed our hearts, because we honestly go above and beyond to treat all of our participants like nothing less than family.

We love our participants because we know how different and unique they all are.  Here at Harmony at 154th all these characters from all walks of life come together in perfect Harmony.  Those without family nearby have found a family with us.  At the same time those with a loving caring family have entrusted our staff with the care of their loved ones. This is beneficial for the participant and for the care provider. It is beneficial for the participant, because they will enjoy a day full of activities that serve the purpose of stimulating the mind and body.  These activities include daily exercise, musical entertainment, bingo, chess, pool, and so much more.  We also provide warm nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch. This is beneficial for the care provider as well because while the loved one is at the center they can attend to other responsibilities, or just enjoy some respite from daily care responsibilities.

Join us this holiday season, and be part of more than just a center… be part of our family.  You can schedule your visit with us by calling 718-585-5440.  We are here Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5pm.  Call 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 depression, please feel free to reachThanks2 Thanks3Thanks4Thanks5Thanks6 Thanks7 Thanks8