Music for Seniors
Pictured (from left) Craig Duncan, Kathy Chiavola and Mark Barnett perform their “Red, White & Bluegrass” tribute at FiftyForward J.L. Turner Center for July’s monthly FREE Concert event.

Established music program becomes an  independent non-profit arts organization

Nashville, TN — Middle Tennessee has a new “old friend” in the arts.

Music for Seniors launched July 1, 2007 as a program affiliate of FiftyForward, (a long-standing Nashville-based nonprofit providing innovative services for adults 50+). Together, FiftyForward Executive Director, Janet Jernigan, Music for Seniors founder and Executive Director, Sarah Martin McConnell, have announced that the unique music program will begin operations as an independent non-profit arts organization effective July 1, 2014.

In its seven year history, Music for Seniors has evolved from a start-up program with just a handful of musicians delivering monthly performances to two senior centers, into a robust arts organization serving and entertaining seniors at 50 Middle Tennessee locations.  The organization currently schedules and delivers an average 57 performances to over 1,200 seniors monthly.


As a program affiliate of FiftyForward, Music for Seniors was recognized (in 2012) as a finalist for the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Salute to Excellence Award. With that strong foundation, Music for Seniors is now ready to stand on its own as a 501c3 arts organization.


“Music for Seniors will forever be grateful to Janet Jernigan, FiftyForward’s Executive Director, and to the entire staff of this fine agency,” says McConnell. “Believing in our vision, FiftyForward has offered Music for Seniors a solid foundation of nonprofit management skills, fiscal oversight and wise counsel, while also providing us immeasurable opportunities for wide-spread community exposure, funding and recognition.”


Janet Jernigan adds her thoughts on the transition of Music for Seniors from a program of FiftyForward to an independent non-profit arts organization.


“Music for Seniors has been an important part of FiftyForward. Since Sarah Martin McConnell initiated the grassroots effort seven years ago, it has brought notes of sunshine and excitement into the lives of thousands of older adults in the Middle Tennessee area.”


Participating musicians, songwriters and performers are trained through an orientation program and paid for their performances. Music for Seniors produces a public FREE Daytime Concert Series in addition to its many monthly outreach performances to senior groups at centers, nursing homes and residence communities.


As an independent agency, Music for Seniors has a goal to extend its mission throughout the state and, ultimately, to other parts of the country as well.


“I would love to share this concept with other cities and senior organizations,” McConnell says. “Music truly is the universal language.  Its power to heal and restore, and to connect older adults with caregivers, loved ones and memories cannot be overstated.”


For more on Music for Seniors, visit


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