Resident Volunteer | The Violinist

Powerful Music from a Gentle Spirit

Sayre Christian Village Resident Craig Timmerman knows all about the power of music.

Craig has performed and taught violin his entire adult life and trained under Japanese violinist and pedagogue (master teacher) Shinichi Suzuki in Japan.

Using the Suzuki Method, Craig taught students as young as 3-years-old this proven method of learning violin. He has watched them bloom after struggling with the bow into little musicians. God only knows the number of students he has impacted over his lifetime of teaching and performing!

In his younger years, Craig also conducted violin seminars all over the United States and in many foreign countries. When asked about how many seminars he taught Craig replied, “Oh my, I can’t remember how many!”

An Inspired Volunteer

Craig Timmerman QuoteMoving from Minnesota to Kentucky to escape brutal winters, he landed at Sayre Christian Village in the Fall of 2019. It wasn’t long before he was performing for the residents in Friendship Towers Assisted and Independent Living on a regular basis.

Shortly after Chaplain Dale Adams joined the Sayre Christian Village team in 2021, he recognized Craig’s superior talent.

Chaplain Dale is an avid guitar player himself and admired Craig’s desire to continue to play his beloved instrument. Recognizing an opportunity to serve residents through music, he asked Craig if he would consider bringing his violin to a Church Service at the Healthcare Center with him. Craig agreed and he accompanied Dale for several hymns for the long-term care residents.

After they loaded their things in Dale’s car to head back to Forest View (one of our Independent Living apartments on campus) to take Craig home, he said, “Dale I noticed a lot of residents there couldn’t get out of bed on their own. I’m not going to complain anymore. I have a lot to be thankful for.”

“I asked if he would consider going again and I’ll never forget his quick reply. He told me he’ll go anytime I ask,” Dale recalled.

Big Impact, Quiet Voice

These days Craig goes all over campus every week to share his music with residents. In a typical week, Craig plays for 5 services in several different buildings on SCV campus! 

Most days you don’t have to look hard to find Chaplain Dale and Craig side by side with instruments close by making the rounds. They’re inseparable.

“Craig has a quiet voice with big friendly eyes that crinkle up around the edges of his face mask when he smiles. He is kind and light-hearted with a quit wit.  It’s no surprise that he’s beloved across campus by residents and staff alike,” remarked Elise Hinchman, VP/Marketing & Development. “His music brings joy to everyone, but he is special in his own right without the violin too. He is always looking for ways to be involved on campus!”

The Importance of Music

Senior Life said it best:

“Pleasing melodies play an important role in life for people of all ages. But for seniors, the benefits are even greater. Music is powerful “medicine.” It holds the power to reduce stress, improve symptoms of depression, and enhance productivity, among others—and, ultimately, improve a person’s quality of life.

One of the most significant benefits of music for seniors is its seemingly magical ability to improve memory. Specifically, music can stimulate feelings of wellbeing in seniors by evoking strong memories and emotions.”

Thank you Craig Timmerman for sharing your immense gift of music with those who call Sayre Christian Village home. Only heaven can measure the impact your life.

Special thank you to Chaplain Dale Adams for his contribution to the article and for helping Craig find his purpose at Sayre Christian Village. 

If you would like to volunteer at SCV, please contact Angela Mullins, Director of Campus Life Enrichment.


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