Sharing the Gift of Music to People in Assisted Living
Although Zelda Anshel lost her father when she was just 11 months old, she continues to refer to her childhood as enchanting due to the love of music that held her family together. In fact, Zelda remembers their neighbors leaving their windows open to hear her family singing and playing the piano.
As is evident today at her current home, Tudor Heights Senior Living, music has since remained an integral part of Zelda’s life.
She worked to support her pursuit of education by becoming a voice student at the famed Peabody Institute. Zelda sang for the troops at various army camps during WWII, and performed at other venues as well.
Zelda then married a wonderful man, an accountant with whom she would celebrate 56 years of marriage. Her singing career took a backseat while raising their two children. When they were older, however, she found opportunities to sing at their schools and returned to work to support their college educations.
While working for the Baltimore school system, she met a friend who was the supervisor of handicapped programs in the Baltimore City Department of Recreation. She got Zelda involved with entertaining the Baltimore Association of Retarded Citizens (BARC) along with Workshop for the Blind. She taught them formal music, and they in turn taught her gospel. As a result, she became an advocate for the handicapped for many years.
At the age of 65, Zelda was given the opportunity to perform her first opera at Towson University. Almost 15 years later, she decided to pursue the degree she had never completed and graduated from Catonsville Community College in 1999.
After the loss of her husband, Zelda developed a variety of health problems and found she needed assistance with dressing, cooking and household chores. Her children suggested assisted living, where not only her physical needs would be met, but where she would have the opportunity to socialize with others.
She chose Tudor Heights because it enabled her to continue with the familiar cultural traditions she grew up with. The Jewish lifestyle and Kosher dining gave her a feeling of comfort. Now, Zelda can often be seen socializing and participating in the variety of activities and outings, but most notably, sharing her gift in the musical programs and events.
Just as in her childhood, Zelda’s ‘neighbors’ throughout the community love to hear her sing and view her as a true asset in their home.