A film depicting music’s power to enrich life for older audiences, and for the musicians themselves
"The power of music to bring joy, purpose, connectivity, and healing to our older brothers and sisters is immeasurable."
-- Dan Beck, Trustee
The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has a long-standing tradition of providing music entertainment for senior citizens. Although older enthusiasts enjoy our park events, community concerts, and symphonic performances, we strive to connect more deeply and more intimately with our aging population, many of whom face growing economic, mobility, and social challenges.
The MPTF provides grants to support live music by professional musicians, who perform in hospitals, social centers, and retirement homes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Partnering musicians provide active social events for these audiences, including familiar music, musical memories and nostalgia, stimulating greater community among our most vulnerable populations.
In 2015, the MPTF developed a program called MusicianFest as an umbrella covering free senior center performances. The goal was a lofty one -- to initiate 500 solo musician performances across North America. We enlisted the assistance of the National Council On Aging and their National Institute of Senior Centers to help identify quality gathering places for communities where there was a need for additional support and stimulus for their senior communities.
With the help of an initial grant from The Film Fund, the MPTF connected the American Federation of Musicians local chapters and members with the selected senior centers, and in the first year, 553 events were created in the U.S., with another 75 implemented in Canada. It was an enormously successful collaboration between the Music Industry, AFM, NCOA, NISC, and local senior advocates. A total of 628 performances entertained tens of thousands of our older citizens in our initial year, and we have averaged 500 per year since.
Produced by the Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund, the uplifting half-hour documentary MusicianFest: Never Too Old reveals the unique perspectives of the featured musicians and their audiences on the experience of providing free, live music performances at senior centers in New York City, New Orleans, and the Los Angeles area.
MusicianFest: Never Too Old explores the paths that led these musicians, many who are seniors themselves, to choose to perform professionally for older audiences. Members of each audience share their impressions about what these live musical performances mean to them.
Additionally, the healthcare professionals from each senior facility provide their perspectives of the profound impact these simple shows have on the physical, mental, and social well-being of the individuals they serve, and the need for quality lifestyle programming including music for aging adults.