NYer Of The Week: Midtown Singing Teacher Lets Seniors Hit High Notes
Stage fright might not seem like the best medicine, but some seniors in Midtown are discovering how powerful it can be, thanks to the latest New Yorker of the Week. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
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Miriam Fond says she never wanted to become a star. But her work encouraging these New Yorkers to find their voice, has made her just that.
"Miriam is this tiny dynamo that’s sparkling all around," says Paulette McLeod, one of Fond's students.
Working out of a small studio space in Midtown, Fond's music lessons are helping these seniors overcome obstacles. Along the way, she has found her calling.
"Someone many years ago accused me of wanting to be God and he wasn't totally wrong," says Fond. "Teaching really can change lives, they inspire you. You sit there and you say, 'You know what, shut up about your own problems. Look at these people, how brave they are.'"
Fond donates her time and uses her experience directing theater to help people realize their dreams. Or in some cases, to discover a hidden talent.
"I sang the most moving my lips to 'Happy Birthday' but never letting the words out," says Barbara Sulzer, another student of Fond. "I got up, I faced the wall and I sang and after that it was like a little bug bit me and I kept coming back for more."
For some, the experience is not just about music, but also friendship and therapy. For Fond, teaching fills the void left by her husband's death.
"I've watched people who for very good reasons were depressed about things life, had taken turns that were not what they wanted them to be and I have watched them grow into happy people," says Fond.
"She makes me plumb the depths of what I have never done before," says Stanley Silk, a student of Fond.
So, for using the power of performance to lift the spirits of her fellow New Yorkers, Miriam Fond is our New Yorker of the Week. For more information on Fond's senior singing program, email email@example.com.