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Resident teaches herself how to play piano with online videos

JoSaille Carmichael has spent the last few weeks learning how to play the upright piano in her apartment by following lessons on YouTube.

Jo is a resident in the assisted living neighborhood at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. She played the piano as a girl, but didn’t continue to play into adulthood.

“I’m not passionate then like I am now,” Jo said.

She follows the YouTube channel of music teacher Karen Ramirez, who teaches students to play by ear with her book “Playing Music with No Music.” Several years ago, she put many of her lessons online, where they have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Karen begins with popular Christmas tunes, since they are familiar to most people and therefore easier to play by ear.

Because the teaching method doesn’t require purchasing a lot of sheet music, it works especially well when access to stores is limited and residents are staying at home. All Jo needs to practice is her piano and iPad.

Jo hopes her story will “strike a chord” with other residents who may be a bit bored without group activities and visits from family and friends.

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