Nashville musician launches a concert website for nursing home residents

'Music By My Side' brings music to nursing homes
Posted at 4:07 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 19:53:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For more than two months, residents in Tennessee nursing homes haven't been able to accept any outside visitors. That won't be changing anytime soon. That's why a local musician is using technology to bring concerts into the palm of their hands.

Sweet sounds flow out of Diana Ladio's home. It's a place you usually won't find her.

"Tour probably two weeks out of the month through most of the year," said Ladio.

Her band, The Moxie Strings, has been sidelined from touring because of COVID-19. Rest assured, not even a pandemic can silence her strings.

A few weeks back, she got an unusual request. The Alzheimer's Association asked if she could make a recording of her playing the fiddle, for a video for one of their patients.

"She got in touch with me via Instagram and I burst into tears and went, 'absolutely, I’d love to be involved, anything to feel useful and purposeful during this time,'" she said.

Ladio felt such a stirring in her soul, she knew that had to be the first measure of something more.

"So then we started thinking, 'Well we know so many musicians and if I had this reaction, there’s probably a good chance that others will be excited to be involved in something like this too,'" said Ladio.

So with the help of her roommate Stephanie, they launched Music By My Side. It's a website featuring short performances from musicians around the globe.

Thousands of nursing homes are now using the site.

"That is when you need people the most. That’s when you really call on your support system and your loved ones to be there," said Ladio.

"But also the nurses," adds Stephanie Truesdale, Ladio's roommate. "Giving them something to do and them something to feel good about. Sharing with the people that they’re with."

Dozens of artists are now gracing their digital stage, but one contribution seems to universally amaze. A nursing home resident named Edie is featured in a video they sent back to Music By My Side. Edie, a retired concert pianist, is now a resident at Canterfield of Franklin. In the video, she plays the piano alongside a recording of Diana playing "Amazing Grace" on her fiddle. The duet is breathtaking.

"I knew she was a professional because she didn’t figure out the key, she didn’t have to play anything, she just sat and listened for a few seconds and hit the keys in the most perfect way," said Ladio.

At a time when we all need to share a little grace, how sweet is this sound?

If you'd like to hear all the performances yourself, click here: