TAMPA, Fla. — What happens when you share children’s instruments, like moroccos, handbells and rhythm sticks, with our seniors? Aysha Tenouri calls it Instrumix.
“I've been working with children for 15 years before I started this program and I was looking for a change of pace so my mom encouraged me to take all my instruments and create something fun for the elderly population,” said Tenouri.
Tenouri brings the moves, the motivation and the musical instruments to every senior center she visits. All the participants have to do is follow along. It’s a workout for the mind and brain.
“So it’s an exercise in disguise, where you are moving your arms, you are executing lots of range of motion movements, so you are encouraging flexibility of the joints, your mood improves, your energy improves,” said Tenouri.
She understands for many of these grandmas and grandpas this is the highlight of their week, and maybe one of the few times they are willing to venture out during the pandemic.
Thursday’s class was held in front of more than a dozen people inside Cano Health in Tampa.
“Because you get bored in the house, let me tell you,” said senior Elena Suerez.
“Because I like dancing, that's my hobby,” said senior Marta Contreras
“I'm going to get up and I’m going to go there because I love it,” said senior Ana Agosto.
“It was really a touching experience when I was able to go to these facilities and have people tell me time and time again how much I was impacting their life,” said Tenouri.
She also realizes there are many seniors who are still unable or unwilling to participate in person.
“So I was really trying to think about how can I make this available to people in their homes, in their facilities, in their rooms, so that's when I created a DVD,” said Tenouri, who added that it makes a great Christmas present for the whole family.
The DVD is available at Instrumix.org. It costs $29.99 and includes a bag of instruments.