Old piano brings new life for local seniors

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The seniors at New Courtland Life Allegheny in North Philadelphia are singing a new tune with the restoration of an old piano that was found in a dumpster.

"I love it Lisa because I've been playing in school and in church ever since I was a child growing up," said Janie Walker.

Walker and Sylvia Kent love it so much that they helped the center's other women form their own choir to accompany their piano playing.

"We had a piano in our house and my mother played in churches all around the neighborhood and I just started banging around," said Kent.

What make things more special is how the center came to have the piano in the first place.

When the center opened in January, Max Kent, who was in charge of plans and logistics, found it in a construction dumpster.

"It had been out in the rain. The wood was warped a little bit" he said.

He put a new finish on it, had the piano tuned then Walker and Kent it was put to the test.

Both women suffer from dementia. They often can't remember the details of their day but their long-term memory is intact.

How do they remember all those piano notes?

"I can because I've been doing it ever since I was a child in church and in school," said Walker.

The center's director says it was appropriate that Max saw the value in this old piano and salvaged it.

"That's exactly what we are about at the New Courtland program. We find value in the seniors that live here in Philadelphia and we help them maintain their independence in the community," said Silvia Boswell.
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