Musician Cheyenne Mize launches new audio program “Can You Hear Me?” “
from Louisville Cheyenne Mize is home on stage for thousands of fans at events like the great Forecastle Music Festival and just as comfortable, harmonizing softly at the bedside of an elderly resident in an assisted living facility in Kentucky.
Mize is a classically trained musician from Kentucky well known for her solo work and collaborations with the Maverick songwriter. Bonnie Prince Billy. She has toured throughout the United States and in France, India and Ireland. His song, his violin and his composition were recognized by the New York Times, National public radio, Paste the magazine, and others.
What is different between this 38-year-old woman and other successful touring musicians is her daily work.
Mize is a graduate music therapist from the University of Louisville. She spends most of her time with people over 65 in nursing homes across the city, which include assisted living, nursing homes, and retirement communities.
â€œI love all types of early music, country, folk and gospel, so working with people who also love this music is fine for me,â€ she told the Courier Journal.
Prior to the pandemic, Mize spent much of her time as a music therapist working with elders in rural Kentucky communities.
â€œI want to change the narrative about the elderly in our community,â€ the singer-songwriter said. â€œAs I work with people in nursing homes, I can see that these places are filled with community stories, history, knowledge and skills. I want people to understand that nursing homes and the elderly are not something to be feared, but to be cherished. “
His extensive work with elders led to a scholarship at World Brain Institute at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The program attracts experts, including scientists, economists, doctors, artists and musicians, from around the world to study ways to improve brain health and reduce the scale and impact of dementia.
â€œOne of our jobs in the fellowship was to create a program to connect elders in our home communities to improve brain health,â€ Mize said. “One of the main contributors to dementia is social isolation, so I created a program to connect the people of Kentucky through music.”
Mize left Ireland with a grant to start a program called “Can you hear me“She produces and hosts the new interactive online audio program, designed to engage and serve Louisville area seniors and reduce their sense of isolation through music.
The program will provide people who rarely leave their homes a way to feel a sense of connection. Mize said it would also help her reach more people living in group care homes.
â€œWhile this program is designed to involve older people and reduce the isolation that can lead to dementia,â€ she said, â€œit is also for people of all ages because it can help us understand and to value the life of this often forgotten or ignored segment of our population.
Each episode of the podcast-style program shines a light on the voices of elders and listeners while presenting opportunities for creative engagement. She plans to teach a variety of familiar songs from the past in a sing-along style with the help of local singers and musicians such as JD Green, heather summers and Tyrone Cotton.
The episodes will also include a prompt for a creative ‘community challenge’ in which listeners can engage and share with the ‘Can you hear meThe engagement can be something as simple as leaving a voicemail message about a favorite memory or story related to one of the songs performed on the show.
Mize said the messages will be shown on a future show so that seniors can hear their voices highlighted in the program.
The first episode of “Can you hear meairs Wednesday. Mize has invited JD Green to sing online. The duo will teach the audience “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers from 1977.
In the future, Mize hopes to find a home for “Can You Hear Me?” on the radio. She said, “Having everyone in town singing the same song at the same time is a magical thing in my brain.”
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Organizations and groups in the region that do good work with seniors will be invited to the show to educate listeners about their services or how to get involved. The first episodes will feature the Greater Kentucky / Southern Indiana chapter of the Alzheimer Association, the (Un) known project, and the Louisville History Program. The episodes will be available on the program website, canyouhearmelouisville.org, as well as on top Spotify and Anchor.fm.
â€œSpecifying the voice of Louisville alumni is one of my main jobs,â€ Mize said. â€œThe stigma associated with aging and dementia is important to me. I want people of all ages to hear older people and be interested in hearing more. These are the voices that we hear very little in the media. ”
Contact Kirby Adams at [email protected] or Twitter @kirbylouisville.