HONOLULU (KHON2) — From local songs to Hawaiian — even songs in Japanese!
Gordon and Sandy Young are a ray of sunshine singing to kupuna, like the day we met them at Beckwith Hillside Senior Care in Manoa.
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“It’s just so heartwarming to see their faces when you see them singing, smiling, we even made a few cry,” said Sandy, kupuna music volunteer. “At first, we felt bad, but we realize that they’re happy tears because we bring back some fond memories.”
The Youngs learned how to play the ukulele 10 years ago when they were taking care of Gordon’s mom.
“That’s when I was taking care of mom and I’d be singing to her and she would clap,” explained Gordon, kupuna music volunteer. “Even though she wouldn’t understand all the songs, she would clap and tell me ‘thank you.’ I would keep her company and I would practice, practice and practice.”
The Youngs have been performing together at different care homes for the past nine years, making about six visits per month. And their formula for success is really simple.
“She tells me, I lead. I say, okay so there’s no problem. Song selection is easy,” Gordon laughed as he explained.
The couple who has been married for 18 years is hoping to inspire others to get involved.
“They may not be into music or into singing but there are other avenues that they can reach these people,” said Sandy. “Maybe engage them and bring some joy into their lives every day whether it’s playing bingo, or games with them or reading to them — or whatever their passion might be.”
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“If I had a GoPro that I could film everything, and let other people see, they would say ‘wow, I need to do this,'” said Gordon.