Ukulele group brings Seabrook residents together

Residents find fun and connection with on-campus groups
Good friends are part of what makes life worth living. At Seabrook, an Erickson Living-managed retirement community in Tinton Falls, N.J., residents have found joy in new relationships forged.

Photo: Seabrook Ukulele Players members enjoy practicing together on campus. (Photo credit: Travis Tanay)

Friends often connect over common interests, and Seabrook resident Jo Grazide used her love of ukulele to form an on-campus group for fellow enthusiasts to enjoy the musical hobby together.

“The Community Resources team at Seabrook was instrumental (pun intended!) in advising and providing suggestions and resources specific to our needs,” says Jo. The Ukulele Players currently has four members, and Jo hopes that as pandemic restrictions continue to ease, more residents will join the group.

For now, they are adhering to safety guidelines that limit the number of people that can be together in a room to nine.

Music is just the beginning

Members meet once a month in a classroom where they watch YouTube videos of recorded lessons and practice together. A new song of the month is introduced at each meeting, and members practice on their own between meetings.

“A degree of confidence is gained as we develop our rhythm and knowledge,” says Jo. She says the group is a great way to connect with other residents and remain engaged, especially after a period of relative isolation during the pandemic. While a common interest in music and learning to play the ukulele may be what originally brought members together, Jo has seen that initial connection as just the beginning of what the group offers.

“I have found that there is a wealth of experience and knowledge aside from music, and a willingness to try new things among residents here at Seabrook,” says Jo. “My emphasis is on the value of learning something new, and on the vehicle of music to strengthen the areas of intellect that may have been neglected.”

Jo loves the feelings of accomplishment and joy that come from small victories in the group, such as when someone who has never played the ukulele before learns to play a new song within minutes.

Members celebrate each other’s successes and look forward to continued growth in both their musical skills and friendships with each other.

Groups offer “anchor of support” at Seabrook

After attending a number of events at Seabrook and seeing the vibrant lifestyle offered by the community, Jo moved there a little over a year ago. Her participation in campus activities such as the ukulele group has provided her with what she calls “an anchor and source of support.”

“At the end of each day at Seabrook, I realize that I have learned something new, met someone interesting, spent time on physical exercise, or had a great meal,” says Jo. “I couldn’t be in a better place, and the Ukulele Players are a big part of that.”

There are more than 100 resident-run clubs on campus, so there’s a little something for everyone. In addition to the Ukulele Players, other groups include book club, bingo, New York City Club, Torah Study class, Men’s Veterans Group, Bridge Club, and Jazz Appreciation Society.

To learn more about Seabrook’s active retirement lifestyle, visit SeabrookCommunity.com.

About Seabrook: Seabrook, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 98-acre campus in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,400 residents and 750 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, Inc., who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Seabrook can be found at SeabrookCommunity.com.