While most businesses in the state have been allowed back open, assisted living facilities aren’t on the list. Residents can’t have visitors or leave the building. One man in Minot is using his accordion to entertain them while they social distance.
“What better medicine is there than music?” said Jerry Schlag, accordion player.
Over the last 15 years, Schlag has brought that medicine — and brought smiles to residents’ faces with monthly performances at assisted living homes around Minot.
He’s used to playing more than 100 shows a year, but COVID-19 changed that.
“March, I got a phone call and boom, every one of them were canceled. Just like that,” Schlag said.
So Jerry and his wife, Laurel, got creative and found a way for residents to still enjoy his music.
Every Monday and Friday, he live-streams his performance on Facebook.
Long-term care residents and other listeners from all over the country tune in to hear the sounds of his accordion.
Like Agnes Traiser at Somerset Court. She calls herself his biggest fan and tunes in every week.
“I enjoy it. I really enjoy it. I really wanted to get up and dance when I was watching!” Traiser said.
She isn’t the only resident at Somerset who enjoys tuning in.
“They’ve got big smiles on their faces now, and they enjoy him so much!” said Ara Bruce, activity director Somerset Court.
Jerry said he’s just doing what he loves.
“I’m just doing this to help out and make people feel good. I know that the people at the assisted living places, you might as well say they’re in jail, because they can’t get out, right? So, if I can make them feel good about something, that makes me feel good,” Schlag said.
If you would like to tune in to Jerry’s live stream, click here.