Thorn­hill mu­sic man brings his tunes to the aged

Richmond Hill Post - - News - — Jes­sica Wei

In the Fire­side Lounge in the Bay­crest Health Sciences com­plex, around 25 peo­ple gath­ered to lis­ten to the sounds of win­ter. Many had not been out­side that day, but the icy pizzi­cato of Vi­valdi’s The Four

Sea­sons: Win­ter sent shivers through the au­di­ence. Howard Med­nick was at the front of the room, guid­ing them through the piece.

Med­nick, who lives in Thorn­hill, be­gan de­vel­op­ing th­ese pre­sen­ta­tions when his wife, Fern, was a res­i­dent at Bay­crest. The for­mer com­puter sys­tems con­sul­tant now puts to­gether pre­sen­ta­tions on classical mu­sic for the res­i­dents at Bay­crest, the Bernard Be­tel Cen­tre, and Amica Thorn­hill, as well as the Life In­sti­tute at Ry­er­son.

For the three years that Fern lived at Bay­crest, Med­nick vis­ited her ev­ery day. Dur­ing th­ese vis­its, he would open his com­puter, play her clips from YouTube and get her opin­ions on his se­lec­tions. Putting to­gether th­ese pro­grams be­came the only thing he en­joyed.

“Her con­di­tion was not good and get­ting worse,” he said. “It was re­ally tough, but this was part of my ther­apy.”

Af­ter Fern passed away in Oc­to­ber, Med­nick kept com­ing to Bay­crest. Oc­ca­sion­ally, he hears a piece that re­minds him of his wife. He’s learn­ing about mu­sic all the time, which helps heal and keep him fo­cused.

“When I look at ev­ery­thing that I’ve gone through with my wife, and ev­ery­thing else, it’s taught me a lot of pa­tience,” he said. “It can be re­ally frus­trat­ing when you can’t do the things that you used to do. I’ve got a few friends who aren’t far­ing too well, but they’re mak­ing the best of it. That’s what you gotta learn, to try to do it this way for as long as you can.”

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