There is magic in music. It has the power to make people smile, laugh and cry and it can also trigger many special memories, according to GemLife Highfields resident Roey Mibus.
The talented pianist and former school singing teacher has brought her love of music to the over-50s resort and is now inspiring others to join her as part of a new singing group she has started called Life Moves @ Gemlife.
“I had been dreaming about this ever since we decided to come here,” said Roey.
“I saw the grand piano and a music room in the country club and was inspired. I did a letter box drop that invited anyone interested in forming a singing group to meet in the music room and was delighted with the great response.”
Roey has been involved with music for as long as she can remember and her passion for creative crafts saw her learn the piano and teach singing and music to young students at primary school.
“I learned music when I was young, and my mother had a singing group in our small town in the Wimmera district of Victoria where I grew up, so it has been a part of my life from a very young age,” said Roey.
After moving into GemLife Highfields over-50s lifestyle resort a few months ago, Roey, who still teaches the piano, began playing the country club’s grand piano at the resort’s fortnightly residents’ dinners. Forming the new singing group just for fun and to bring people together followed soon after with husband Ian the first to join.
“We had five men and five women turn up to the first session. We are not trying to be a professional singing group or choir but rather, just getting together for the pure enjoyment of singing,” she said.
Roey puts together the music and words which her resident singers can sing with the accompaniment of the piano or CDs as well as a few handy instruments such as castanets, bells, rhythm sticks and maracas from their teacher’s personal arsenal of musical instruments. What to sing is never a problem either.
“It is amazing the number of songs people know all the words to,” said Roey, adding that old favourites like The Happy Wanderer and Que Sera Sera were among the residents’ chart toppers.
“While playing at the resort’s dinner the other night, people just spontaneously started singing along. Music is in all of us and can bring so much joy.”
Roey does not see herself as a great accompanist, vocalist or conductor.
“My role is to gather people so we can sing and have fun together. If the group has the confidence to sing together at a function, we might even make a public appearance at one of our fortnightly dinners, but that’s not the main aim. We just want to enjoy music and enjoy ourselves,” she said.
“The group meets for an hour singalong at 3.30pm each Tuesday and everyone is welcome. So many people here say they used to play the piano or sing. Joining our group will give them the inspiration and permission to do it again … and in a fun way.”