Thornhill music man brings his tunes to the aged
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.”