From classical music to rap and hip-hop, piano has no limits. Whether someone plays in their spare time or teaches piano for living, many people agree it is one of the most popular musical instruments. September is National Piano Month, and Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco residents and team members were excited for a special event featuring a 16-year-old pianist performing with lifelong pianist Bennie Potter, 92, resident of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. During a time when electronic devices compete for children’s attention, playing an instrument is becoming a lost art, but not for Zackary Wetzel. A student at Kingdom Country Academy in Anna, Texas, Wetzel started playing piano at age 8. Today, he is happy he had the opportunity to perform with Potter, who started playing at the age of 3. The mini concert was held at the senior living community and it included musical performances, singing, dancing and a delicious piano shaped-cake made by the residents. Music has a tremendous impact on seniors and those living with Alzheimer’s. Recent studies show music can boost production of “happy hormones” such as dopamine, serotonin and more, resulting in elevated moods.
“When I was about to move to Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, I was worried my playing days would end. I was so happy to find the piano here so that I can continue doing what I love the most,” said Potter. “Playing the piano has always been part of my life. I spent over 40 years teaching, and I am grateful I still have the opportunity to perform for others here at the community and during church services as well. I enjoyed playing piano with Zackary during the event.”
Wetzel enjoys playing piano because of the feeling of accomplishment gained from learning something complicated. His favorite composer is Scott Joplin because of his upbeat, fast music. Potter, on the other hand, spent most of the time playing during church services. Her husband served in the military and she visited many countries, including Germany, Italy and Japan. Wherever she went, she found a place to play the piano. Potter has three children, one grandchild and one great-grandchild and both her mother and grandmother were pianists.
”We loved having Zackary visit our community, it was so nice to hear him play together with Bennie,” said Beth Babcock, executive director at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “Both music and intergenerational activities have so many benefits for seniors and children. We are thankful we can provide Bennie with the opportunity to share her music with us, and we are so proud of her for continuing to play for our residents.”
Mustang Creek Estates – whose mission is to provide seniors with high-quality residential-style assisted living and memory care at an affordable price – has additional locations in Allen, Burleson and Keller. Recently, Mustang Creek Estates opened its newest senior living community in Sachse.