While the pandemic raged, Ms. Nathalie Grondines, General Manager of the Domaine des Forges retirement home, decided to carry out a long-time dream of hers.
In these challenging times, she was going to brighten up her residents’ days by adding an outdoor piano and let its music do its magic!
For many years, Ms. Grondines has searched for an ingenious way to reproduce the trend which has seen public pianos appear in the villages, neighbourhoods and cities of the Province of Quebec. She wanted her residents to play or to enjoy the pleasant melodies created by experienced pianists. Despite the major challenge represented by this endeavour, Nathalie and her team began searching for an available piano near the residence. After looking for a few days: BINGO! They had found one. To comply with sanitary rules in force, Nathalie and her family wore masks and gloves to pick up the piano. The generous donor was thrilled to learn that it was going to a retirement home.
Teamwork was involved in carrying out the project. Assisted by the maintenance officer, the gentlemen of Domaine des Forges sanded and painted the piano, built and decorated a protective structure, and even enhanced the landscaping around the area! But a new, unforeseen little challenge arose. The piano had been installed on a wheeled platform so that it could easily be moved during the off-season. The original bench was therefore too low. No problem! A new, higher bench was built. It was installed on skis which fit under the piano, improving the bench’s stability and security for any pianist using it. Once the tuner had cleaned out the instrument, everything was in place to hold enjoyable outdoor concerts!
“The residents love their piano! Many among them are incredibly talented musicians. They liven up the early evening for their friends who are enjoying a game of petanque or simply relaxing on their balcony. The pandemic has forced us to be even more creative. It has been inspiring to see our seniors go through these challenging weeks and we wanted to thank them by giving them this special gift,” says Ms. Grondines.