Music stirs memories: Golden Valley Eagle Scout gives gift of music to memory care residents

Golden Valley Eagle Scout John Vaaler helps Kate, a memory care resident at English Rose Suites in Edina, Feb. 27 with her new iPod. The iPod contains files ofhas music from the 1930s and 1940s. (Sun Post staff photos by Gina Purcell)

Golden Valley Eagle Scout John Vaaler helps Kate, a memory care resident at English Rose Suites in Edina, Feb. 27 with her new iPod. The iPod contains files ofhas music from the 1930s and 1940s. (Sun Post staff photos by Gina Purcell)

John Vaaler, a Golden Valley Eagle Scout, slowly slides a pair of headphones over the snowfall white hair of Kate, a memory care resident at English Rose Suites in Edina.
When the music on the iPod connected to the headphones begins to play, the alert and talkative woman in her 80s begins to sing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Vaaler advances the music to the next song, and Kate looks up smiling, her hands now tapping her knees to the beat.
“Clap with me,” she says to Irene, another memory care resident sitting next to Kate listening to her own music.
Irene watches Kate’s hands and mimics her rhythm. The two begin clumsily clapping hands with one another as they laugh.
Vaaler delivered iPods, with customized playlists, to five of the residents of English Rose on Feb. 27 as part of his Eagle Scout project. He also provided iPods for the residents at English Rose’s two other locations in Edina.

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