Disability and Elderly Issues

Fatal heart attack: Shooting the piano player by another name

“I couldn’t imagine a life in which I would not be surrounded by music which shelters you from the world–which protects you and gives you a considerable distance from the world.”

–Glenn Gould quoted in the PBS program “Genius within–The Inner Life of Glenn Gould”

“This review explores the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes, specifically the health effects of music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. Although there is evidence that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes, the extent to which these interventions enhance health status is largely unknown. Our hope is to establish a foundation for continued investigation into this subject and to generate further interest in researching the complexities of engagement with the arts and health.”

The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature, Heather Stuckey, D.Ed. and Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, American Journal of Public Health

This photograph of Terry Stuart is by Greg Brown, who owns the copyright. Published with his permission."
This photograph of Terry Stuart is by Greg Brown, who owns the copyright. Published with his permission.”










Our Piano Player Died in his Bed Here at the 95 Resident State College PA Independent Living Apartments for Low-Income Elderly and Disabled. Why Terry Will Be Missed


[Editorial note: This is a work in progress. It  describes the memorial service I conducted for Terry in the social hall (commonly referred to as the Bingo Parlor) directly across the hallway from my apartment.

[Terry played the piano beautifully. I first heard him play with Deborah a fellow resident who has a magnificent voice. Deborah sang beautifully a song made famous by Alison Kraus of Union Station. This song:

[Listening to Deborah sing and Terry play was a comfort to my soul. My music passions in this order are Mozart, Chopin, and country music. {Go figure.}

[In the past three years, I have been suffering from chronic pain and have been frequently hospitalized. My neighbors at Addison Court have recognized my need to be alone–respecting my privacy.]

[Shortly after my third hospitalization at HealthSouth Pleasant Gap, PA, I emerged from my apartment iPad in hand, scooting across the hallway to the bingo parlor where Terry was sitting with friends. Deferentially, we talked and I asked Terry whether he wanted to hear a Chopin Nocturne. This Nocturne:

[Arthur Rubinstein playing, of course.

[Terry’s eyes lit up.

[I cannot tell you the sadness I felt upon learning our piano player died in his bed on the eighth floor–the floor that has the best washer and dryer in the building.

[On the Saturday before I entered the hospital for spinal surgery, I combined a memorial service for Terry with a Jewish service bringing to a close the sabbath. Three other neighbors attended and spoke meaningfully.

[The memorial service is a prelude to my experiences in the hospital–experiences greatly enhanced by other piano players like Terry who soothed my soul while Dr. Gregory Bailey masterfly performed two spinal operations in one week.

[This bog posting is a work in progress. When complete I will tell you more about Terry, the memorial service, and the significance of music and art at healing those of us who require healing.

[I am hobbled in my efforts to complete this blog due to severe financial pressures. The pressures include suspension of my ability to access the Internet–thus requiring time-wasting work-arounds (such as this morning). I am asking you, my readers, to donate so I can resume my Internet service and complete this work in a timely manner. Please send donations from PayPal to me at jes535@psu. edu

[Thank you.]