Mayo Clinic Music Fun


We’ve highlighted the contributions of music to the healing environment at Mayo Clinic in some previous posts, but here’s another video from last fall that we discovered on YouTube. The exuberance of this older couple playing in the Gonda Building will brighten your day.

For more background on how this video came to be, see the touching story of the patient, Sharon, who captured it, told from the perspective of her daughter, Jodi, who accompanied Sharon to Mayo Clinic for the first time last September.

Update (2/27/10): Mr. and Mrs. Cowan returned to Mayo Clinic this week and provided a concert for visitors and staff. See this post to watch video of that special event.

For information on Mayo Clinic’s other social media sites, including our Facebook page and YouTube channel, see 10 Ways You Can Use Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Tools.

Update 5/25/09: See this post for an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Cowan at their Ankeny, Iowa home.

Click here to read and listen to other Mayo Clinic patient stories.

Update (5/10/09): This morning’s Des Moines Register has a feature on the Cowans and how they’ve become a YouTube sensation without owning a computer. If you enjoyed this video, you’ll want to be sure to check that out, too.

If you would like to share this video with others, use the sharing toolbar below to post to Facebook or other social sites, or copy and paste the URL into an email or post to Twitter.

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Update (5/3/10): You may also enjoy this 1996 feature story about Mr. and Mrs. Cowan, which Iowa Public Television recently uploaded to YouTube:

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346 Responses to “Mayo Clinic Music Fun”

  1. The Importance of Being Nimble (Part 2) « Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Says:

    […] interviewed Marlow and Frances Cowan, our famous Octogenarian Idols from Ankeny, Iowa, on my way through their state as I was headed to […]

  2. Gail Shepherd Says:

    So where is my couple playing the piano!!?? It is infuriating when favorites disappear from the computer. Why do you do this to us?

  3. norm gentis Says:

    Well done Mayo Clinic, they are good for your hospital, I am surprised you don’t put them on the payroll. To be there age and some full of life is very good to see. Keep up the good work Mayo

  4. Gloria Aqui Kumar Says:

    An additional musical note. There is a free download of my cd from music I prayerfully played at Mayo clinic . I made it since fellow patients seemed to benefit from the music and I promised to send it for them.You may access it by Googling my name at RSA studios . The album is called Be Encouraged and is designed to give a gentle boost.

  5. Gloria Aqui Kumar Says:

    An additional musical note. There is a free download of my cd from music I prayerfully played at Mayo clinic . You may access it by gooling my name at RSA studios . The album is called Be Encouraged and is designed to give a gentle boost.

  6. Five Stars in Any Language « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] original duet, which was captured by another patient, posted to YouTube by her daughter and posted to Sharing Mayo Clinic a year ago Wednesday, led to them being flown to New York in May to appear live […]

  7. Study: Greater sense of purpose in life is linked to lower Alzheimer's risk - Wellness - Says:

    […] Marlow and Frances Cowan can offer some insight into how to make the most of life as you age. It's hard to watch the elderly […]

  8. Cowan Concert: A Special Event « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] to Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester this week. You likely remember them as the couple whose piano duet became a YouTube sensation last year, and led to their appearance on ABC’s Good Morning […]

  9. Florence Annison Says:

    The humour and talent, the sheer joy in their music so happily shared is a unique gift with which this dear couple been blessed and which they have passed on to countless others. I, too, shall treasure this rendition.

  10. mary Says:

    I grew up im Gloucester ma, And i have worked as a nurceing ass ,So i can tell you mucic is very helpfull to the elderly. Lots of smiles.

  11. Reaching stakeholders through social media — Mengel Musings by Amy Mengel Says:

    […] Mayo Clinic YouTube video of older couple playing piano […]

  12. Patti B Says:

    This was wonderful…and so like the Mayo to provide the wonder of music to aid in healing! The Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester<NY built a beautiful Cancer Center with a lovely atrium , complete with a gorgeous piano, that guess what??? NO ONE is allowed to touch…..medicine of the highest order????? you decide

  13. Marian Van Buren Says:

    And would you believe there are those in Washington who think oldsters are just a drag on society and the health system? What do they know???

    • Michael D. Austing Says:

      I learned a long time ago to listen to “old folks”-you can learn quite a lot!

      I grew up in the basement of my grandfather’s home. Grandpa was a Shriner in Dayton, OH’s Antioch Temple and had 2 bands. They practiced at the house-to this day, I STILL love the old ’30s & ’40s music!

  14. Lynn Connolly Says:

    I have never been to the Mayo Clinic but a piano in the atrium is obviously a great addition. The older couple playing the piano was very touching and cute. Music always lifts my spirits and this is another example of how music heals!

  15. Carol Menter Says:

    The video of the elderly couple playing the piano is so precious. My husband and I have been married 42 years. I can’t imagine life without him. When I have a bad day, I watch this video and life is good.
    Thank you for sharing.

  16. megaries Says:

    Arrived at a certain age it is thought that the whole world has ended, and that the real demonstration of entertainment towards themselves and others.
    This lesson the younger lot should take into account.
    Congratulations to the couple of artists for their performance and their entertainment to the other guests.

  17. Mary & Hoot Says:

    That was great! We have been in the Gonda Bldg. many times, and have heard many “concerts”. But, that really brought me to a happy place, what fun!! Really does show you what music can do for the human spirit.

  18. Eileen Says:

    What a cute couple, and how fun!

  19. Happygael Says:

    to debbie
    That is about as real as it can get. shame on you for trying to spoil the fun.

  20. John Harrahy Says:

    I saved this, and have plaved it dozens of times – it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in years. Now it won’t come up any more – was there some time limit or something that expired? If so, is there any way to get it back?

  21. William B. Edmonds (Georgia) Says:

    Those who pray and play together stay together. What a wonderful life they enjoy after all these happy years.

  22. Mengel Musings » Blog Archive » The secret to avoiding a YouTube crisis - revealed! Says:

    […] (but when they do, be ready to capitalize and use it to help tell your organization’s story, the way Mayo Clinic did). But you can keep some of the negative ones at bay by not giving people a reason to make them in […]

  23. Dyle Says:

    What a marvelously talented couple! All I can say is kudos to them and may they share many more years together!

  24. Abby Says:

    That was great and it made me smile. Thanks for the charming couple and video.

  25. Faol-Inc.Com - Education Guide » How to Use Social Media: An Interview with Lee Aase of Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] What kind of impact has this blog had?Answer: One case study in how Sharing Mayo Clinic works is a video of Marlow and Fran Cowan, an octogenarian couple from Ankeny, Iowa (Mr. Cowan has since turned 90). Their impromptu […]

  26. OPEN Forum by American Express OPEN | | How to Use Social Media: An Interview with Lee Aase of Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] One case study in how Sharing Mayo Clinic works is a video of Marlow and Fran Cowan, an octogenarian couple from Ankeny, Iowa (Mr. Cowan has since turned 90). Their impromptu […]

  27. Norm Gentis Says:

    If this don’t heal ya nothin will. They are great and to be that age and still feel like doing something is great. God bless both of them.

  28. Bill & Mary Dorsch Says:

    Great piece. Enjoyed it very much. The music was good and the couple outstanding.

  29. Mary Lou Hall Says:

    Just loved the video. I am a 76 year old widow and for over 25 years
    I played the piano at a nursing home about twice a month. I have played
    the same song this couple played “Put on your old gray bonnet” so many
    times but it was not that good old ragtime style that they played. I just
    play by ear but, gee how I wish I could play it like they do. God bless
    them and I pray they have a lot of years left to play that piano.

  30. Gloria Aqui Kumar,Tobago Says:

    This couple’s music has made me feel so happy each time I view it.
    I can assure the doubter that the instrument is genuinely played and not a player piano . I can attest to this since I played it over a period of three months when I recuperated from Heart surgery in 2008.
    One thing for sure is that the player gets as much blessing and fulfillment as those for whom we play. Playing at Mayo is an honour since many are in in very concerned situations and need this musical boost.
    May this video continue to brighten the outlook and hopes of others.

  31. KayTee Says:

    Absolutely what living life together with a spouse for many years, is all about…. Having fun and being fearless in your passions!

  32. Doris W. Powers Says:

    I have sent you my email address. I do not get the picture or the music. Can you explain “WHY????????

  33. Marjorie Says:

    I watch this every morning when I access my computer. What a treat.

  34. Dawnette Clyde Says:

    What a beautiful couple! If only newlyweds could see that love is more than figure or outside beauty. It is what is within our soul & hearts. They are truly talented & beautiful in every form of the word.

  35. sonia Says:

    que pareja mas dulce, un aplauso para ellos, que conserven esa vitalidad que tienen por siempre, y esa picardia, felicitaciones, todavia tengo una sonrisa en mi cara.

  36. Carley Says:

    I did not get the vedio but thought it was pretty funny.

    • Lisa Says:

      Nothing to “get” Carley. Just a sweet, mature couple enjoying each other’s company and entertaining others in a place where not a great deal of good things happen.

  37. Marilyn Says:

    How truly beautiful. If only the doctors could put as much into hearts as these lovely people. They are certainly a couple to be highly complimented in their endeavor, and are truly a value to society.

  38. Nancy B. Eckardt Says:

    I grew up in Rochester – my father was on the Mayo Clinic Staff – I met my husband when he was on Fellowship at the Clinic in 1946. We married in ’47 and moved to Sheboygan Wisconsin where he practiced medicine for almost 40 years. Now widowed at 88 years, I have been back to the Mayo Clinic quite a few times and have always loved listening to folks playing the piano and singing in the Gonda building. Thanks for sharing this delightful video.

  39. Frances Says:

    Very heart warming. I’m a senior citizen and love to play the piano.
    I’m not that good (I play by ear) but I try. It’s a lot of fun too.
    I sincerely wish this couple many more years together.

  40. Annie Says:

    Thanks to Frances Resch for printing all the words to this song. My
    Grandmother used to sing this to me and I remembered the words to
    the first verse, but couldn’t quite recall the words to the second verse
    until I saw them and of course I remembered the words to the chorus.
    I have always loved the song and don’t recall hearing it since I heard
    my Grandmother sing it back when I was a child. I am 76 years old so
    it has been a while. I love piano music and this was so delightful. I
    could watch the video over and over again.

  41. Lynne DeLisle Says:

    I am unable to view this couple playing the piano. Why is that ?

  42. Terry N Says:

    How sweet…plan to share it with everyne I can! Thanks

  43. Mickey C. Says:

    *LOVE* don’t you just Love it !!~~~~ Thanks for the smile ~~~~

  44. The Onion calls. They want to spoof your hospital. Do you have the guts to say yes? : MedCity News Says:

    […] the like. But it also promotes the patient-generated media it can’t control — like this video of an old couple playing the piano. The so-called Octogenarian Idols (and, through them, Mayo) later appeared on […]

  45. Joe in Tampa Says:

    They were playing the joyful music of their youth! WHAT a difference from the music our youth are drawn to today! There is so much great music from the past that no one is hearing anymore, and that in itself is a shame! Like the old saying about friends goes; “it’s ok to make new friends but there’s nothing like old friends”, should pertain to music also. There is so much in olden archives that we could learn from these days, and yes I guess you could call the elderly living archives!

  46. boblogan,sr. Says:


  47. boblogan,sr. Says:

    fantastic performance.

  48. Amanda Dunham Says:

    For some reason I can’t seem to stop crying……

  49. christyrie Says:

    What a wondrous, lovely, touching sight to behold. We should all be so lucky to live that long with our spouse and have such zest for life. May God bless them always!

  50. Leo Says:

    Just great.

  51. Lee Aase, Social Media and the Mayo Clinic | Connie Bensen Says:

    […] his presentation he shared this video that was running on YouTube. Since then the couple was featured on Good Morning America. It’s […]

  52. Karen Leon Says:

    This was wonderful. This is how growing old togather should be. I am going to keep it and watch it over and over.It brought tears of joy.

  53. Bonnie & Jocelyn Says:

    It’s a joy to see a couple so in tune after all these years. It makes a person feel good just hearing it.

  54. Mary Phillips Says:

    Thanks so very much for sharing the wonderful video of the couple playing the piano. It has made my day!

  55. Janet Yontz Says:

    I am still watching that wonderful Atrium duet !!!! As I walked through the Atrium a couple of weeks ago , taking time to SEE the scene , I thought how perfect it would have been as a “Saturday Evening Post ” cover. So I smile as I play it again!!!! This has really been sharing Mayo Clinic—thank you

  56. Alice Roche Says:

    I think the couple were adorable! It is so cool to see older people having so much fun!

  57. Lynn Says:

    Makes me miss my parents all the more.

  58. Benita M. Hoge Says:

    Kudos to The Cowans. What a delightful couple. Their playing reminded me of my deceased Mother Ethel Marsh (2 days short of 92yrs.) After growing up in England, my Father and she retired to the USA to be with me. She had been a classical pianist in England. In America she fell in love with Scott Joplin. At her Memorial service, a tribute of her life had been filmed unsuspectingly to us by our oldest son Paul. Music was playing throughout. Imagine our surprise, when at the very end of the film, a piano was shown and just her hands up and down like wildfire on the keys, playing Scott Joplin. Not a dry eye in the Church. Most of all, what a wonderful recorded film we have.

  59. rhonda Says:

    I come from a family of piano players and this video brings tears to my eyes – happy ones!!
    We need more stories like this one.

  60. Pat Says:

    Just goes to show older people can have fun too! Good for them.

  61. SUE Says:


  62. DEBBIE MEIER Says:

    I never had granparents but always thought this is the way granparents should be. My heart goes out to these two and I wish them many many many more days at the piano together.

  63. Peggy Says:

    Frances and Marlow remind of the way life used to be. I miss my grandmother and mom and dad and waking up to the smell of orange blossoms wafting in the window from the orchards on our ranch. Life is so complicated for all of us these days. What a rare treat and joy to watch Frances and Marlow get back to what is really important – love, humor and music in our hearts. Thank you so much!

  64. Amy Says:

    What a sight.

  65. Mayo Clinic “Octogenarian Idols” Scheduled to Appear on Good Morning America « Sharing Mayo Clinic Says:

    […] to Appear on Good Morning America By Lee Aase Marlow and Frances Cowan, the Iowa couple whose piano duet in the artrium of Mayo Clinic’s Gonda building has been viewed more than 2 million times since April 7, are scheduled to be featured Tuesday […]

  66. Bob Says:

    What a fabulous couple. I am sure there are many more moments they will cherish in their life they have left, but none quite so momentous as this one. Thank you!!

  67. Vera Says:

    I loved it!! This is a fantastic couple! I am so proud to know a couple can be so happy after so many yrs together. God bless them, I am sure they have had a wonderful life together. This brought a big smile to my face, they are so cute. God bless….

  68. Rev. Gene and Helen Gee Says:

    What a way to start the day.

  69. Rev. Gene and elen Gee Says:

    What a joy to see that couple having fun playing the piano and the 15 year old wow how it brings goose bumps to hear him play. Keep up the great things you do at Mayo Clinic. What a way to start the day. I too am going to keep this site in my famvorties.

  70. Carol Says:

    Thanks for making my day. What a glorious gift.

  71. andrea Says:

    that was adorable… i miss my grama and grampa…

  72. Jeff Laugtug Says:

    Fantastic! I’m sorry Mother and Father didn’t have that much energy while they where. I’m glad they do. God bless ’em.

  73. Marie Says:

    great video thanks for sharing!

  74. Mell Says:

    This is just gorgeous!! To all those who may think that oldies don’t enjoy life once past about 60, this proves you wrong.

    What a completely wonderful, delightful old couple. Marvellous, simply marvellous.

  75. Gloria Says:

    What a wonderful fun loving couple! Everyone’s senior years should be like this – I hope mine are! Fabulous video and fabulous couple. God bless them.

  76. Cherrie Says:

    My 14-year-old daughter and I are just like “Aunt Deb” and her 14-year-old daughter (above). We loved it and were thoroughly entertained!

  77. Pamela Sage Says:

    How refreshing to see and hear “happiness, and gaity, and happy energy from ANY couple, let only a senior couple. Thank you for making my day!

  78. Diane Cox Says:

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us.
    You two are fantastic.
    Keep up the beautiful music.

  79. Pat M Says:

    This little delightful piano ditty has the ability to put joy on the faces of all human races. That’s quite an accomplishment! Thank you for that.

  80. steve bertone Says:

    it was heartwarming to see the ghosts of what real people used to be like in this country

  81. Jo Ann Walz Says:

    You two were terrific. May God bless you and keep you well.

    In Christ Love,


  82. Lucillejm Says:

    As I grow older, soon to be 69, I finally realize what I have been missing all these past years. As I look up to the sky I see the beauty in the world as I have never seen it before. I see the hills, mountains, oceans, country sides and the vast open areas while traveling the Mid-western states. What amazes me are the trees, with so many different colors, shapes, and heights. There are evergreens, trees that know when to drop their leaves and when to regrow. The trees that give us beauty, shade and food. What saddens me is the lack of responsiblity for what was given to us, all we have to do is care for it. I think aging makes one realize what a short time we have to enjoy our journey through life. We need to take the time in our lives to keep on smiling, laughing and be happy that we were given this wonderful opportunity to share such beauty. This couple has the right idea, you are never too old to enjoy the moment. Take it before it is too late and you miss out.

  83. mike Says:

    i havent seen video yet!

  84. Dot Benfield Says:

    I loved it. Thanks to my Friend Joe, who sent it to me. Thank you for posting it

  85. Ann Ambrogi Says:


  86. Debra Kelm Says:

    This was awsome….I work with the elderly and only hope thst I will be this wonderful when I grow old….I think age is only how we feel….

  87. Piano playing duo at the Mayo Clinic | Says:

    […] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Tags: Elder folks playing the piano, Mayo Clinic, Piano […]

  88. Loanna Hudgins Says:

    Absolutely wonderful! I loved it!

  89. Bill Cooper Says:

    Wonderful! I can see me doing that in 17 years when I will be 90.

  90. Katy Farmer Says:

    What a wonderful, entertaining couple. It was a joy to see the fun and love they share together.

  91. Heidi Hunsaker Says:

    So what is up with the old man, tapping her butt and everything…jk lol this is an insane web!

  92. marie Says:

    Very cute and uplifting. Would be nice to see more of the senior generation having such fun. The fannie pat was cute but she wasn’t going to let him do it again.

  93. Marjorie Says:

    My mother-in-law (deceased) was from a COWAN family in Georgia. She played the piano exactly the same as Marlo.

  94. Jeanne Beery Says:

    I absolutely loved it. What a wonderful,fun couple.

  95. Jean Burnett Says:

    I loved it. What a wonderful couple. God bless them both.

  96. Ethel from MI Says:

    This is wonderful, not only do they bring joy to us but you can see how much they enjoy it too.

    Allow me to share a parady (sorry about the spelling). These words go to the tune of “Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet”

    Put on your old rubber bustle, and go out and hustle because tomorrow the rent comes due. If you’re gonna be a hussy honey, don’t be fussy, if you can’t get ten take two.

    I heard this in a honky tony and the lady who sang it brought down the house…..

    I just know that this wonderful couple have heard these lyrics and probably laughed themselves silly.

    I play piano so I know the joy in their hearts…….. Bless them for sharing.

  97. Social Media Case Study – Mayo Clinic Video Goes Viral « Social Media Snippets Says:

    […] an older couple playing a song in the Mayo atrium. Lee posted the video on April 7, 2009 on their Sharing Mayo Clinic blog after the video had been viewed 1,005 times on YouTube during the six months prior. Since posting […]

  98. In Case You Missed It: Healing Music | Swine Flu Daily Update Says:

    […] elderly couple, Marlow and Frances Cowan, was caught on film, playing the piano and hamming it up in the atrium at the Mayo Clinic to an enthusiastic […]

  99. Dorothy Bussier Says:

    The piano music was “Wonderful” “Wonderful” Thank-You

  100. Darylene Says:

    Wonderful, It made me think of my Mother. I used to love to hear her play.

  101. Ann Bryson Says:

    I have always enjoyed listening to the piano as I passed through the building on my way to appointments. The players are of all ages and that makes it all the more fun.

    Thank you for sharing this delightful performance. Music is timeless, lifts the spirits and brings joy to the soul!

  102. Rev. Charles Johnson Says:

    What a blessing these precious folks are! May God bless them both in a very special outpouring of Divine Healing on them.

    I am 72 years old, crippled, and have been a missionary to Vietnam for
    the past 16 years.

    Please kindly pray for me, that I can financially return to my precious
    Lepers, Street Children, HIV-AIDS Victims, the mute, deaf, blind and lame whm I love so much, and they me.
    I am praying to return ASAP hopefully withing 2-3 weeks, following being home and recovering from a serious automobile accident.
    Blessings, Charlie Johnsons a bond servant to the Forgotten & Un-loved
    of Communist Vietnam,

  103. Marsha from Indiana Says:

    I was at Rochester clinic also and saw many people play this piano during the time I was there. To hear the beautiful music so many people played there was wonderful and did wonders to make me feel better during such a troublesome time. A big thank you goes out to any and all of the people that took their time to spread a little happiness to those of us going through rough times. For all of you who have to go to Mayo, keep positive thoughts and may God Bless! And to all the wonderful, caring employees, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  104. Just for Fun – From Judy « Our Piano Class Blog Says:

    […] From Judy Filed under: Uncategorized — Jan @ 2:41 pm Check out these Senior Citizens:   Comments […]

  105. Sandra Timson "Sandee" Says:

    Yo made me remember when I was a teen and my cousin would take the bus to go dancing at the Casa Loma. There were lots of servicemen there and I would usually dance with a soldier who was a very good dancer. I love to recall those fun times. Thanks!

    • Happygael Says:

      Glen gray at the Casa Loma? Now you are bringing back memorise f the Dorseys harry James Glenn Miller Artie Shaw heavens knows how many others

  106. Tina Says:

    My son has been to Mayo Clinic several times. We always dread making the trek but we always enjoy listening to the music. My son is 7 and also plays the piano so last time there he played before and after his procedure! It always calms him down after our long trip to get there and before the grueling day starts of lots of tests, etc….

    Thanks for sharing this as hearing that music always reminds me of a wonderful staff who have been so GREAT to work with!

  107. Brenda Newcomer Says:

    I had my daughter there at the Mayo Clinic in October of 07 , and personally got to here the Piano playing in the Gonda building.

    The love of music & sound, just feels the air ! I think it is marvelous, that the gonda offers this to the patients for soothing comfort.

    The Newcomers
    in Missouri

  108. barbara hotchkiss Says:

    A very interesting e mail, I enjoyed it and l will pass it on to friends.Thank you for sharing, Barbara

  109. Shirley L. in Phoenix AZ Says:


  110. Ginger Fiala Says:

    I woke up to hear music and began smiling. A good way to start the day.

  111. Charlie Barath Says:

    “Music is like love. It is only complete when it is shared.”

  112. Betty Says:

    Wonderful…..equally enjoyable are the pianists in the Atrium onthe Concourse level of Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. One of the favoirte places to relax and meet during a busy day…..and listen to the fine music perovided by the “young at heart.”

  113. I am Bess and 82 years old Says:

    Hi, this was just adorable. It shows you, you are never too old to enjoy the good things in life, especially music. I play the piano by ear and my husband, now deceased over a year, loved listening to me play all the old songs. He was nearly 92 when he passed away last year in 2008.

    Keep up the goood work you are doing, especially with music. As they say, “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast”.

    Love forever,

  114. Peggy Brewer Says:

    In the midst of my “poor me” mood, I received this video from a dear friend. Wow! By sharing their talents with me, not only did I get a smile I also was reminded that our GOD is so totally cool. May He continue to bless this couple.

  115. Joan Says:

    What a great video! I’m 73 and know most of the words to that song, unlike some of my younger neighbors.

    Thanks to this dear couple for creating a “bright moment”.

    • Joy Says:

      What is the name of that song………please tell me. I wanna get the music. I love to play

      • Happygael Says:



        Put on your old gray bonnet
        with the blue ribbon on it
        And we’ll hitch old dobbin to the shay
        through the fielsd of clover we’ll ride off to Dover
        on our golden wedding day.

  116. stephanie Entel Thornton RMA Says:

    Iwas a patient at the Scottsdale clinic..and yes, there was a Grand Piano..played by volunteers..Music and laughter is good your health and your Soul!

  117. Frances Lostracco Says:

    Yes, it did make me smile. Isn’t it wonderful to show the world how
    these “talents” that our people on this beautiful planet have and what
    they do for us making us smile and feel good about everyone.
    We can all share together, can’t we? and most of the time, it is so emotional and meaningful.

  118. PEGGY SOSSMAN Says:


  119. Carolyn Says:

    I’ve often enjoyed the patients, staff and volunteers playing the baby grands in the hall of Mayo. So inspirational for all who have the luck to receive exceptinal treatment there!

  120. Lee Ann Says:

    For the past year, we have had to make numerous trips to Mayo Clinic almost always on Thursdays. The same talented lady faithfully is there playing the piano. We have listened to many talented singers, and it is awesome. I look around and watch the people–with smiles at the beautiful music. It brings such a calmness and peacefulness to all of us facing health issues. What a great thing –I look forward each trip to going to the atrium and sitting for awhile and “taking in” the many songs.

  121. grant morrill Says:

    i was there, I was there… I played the harmonica with the lady while I was there for my stem cell implants in 07.. wow did I ever enjoy that… Thanks Bob….

  122. GTG Screening Room-General Discussion-GoTeamsGo Sports Fan Forum Says:

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  123. Juanita Carter Says:

    It is great to see people this age having so much fun with music. I am 76 and play in a band 2 and 3 times a week. Our harmonica player is 86. Music is one of the greatest fountains of youth there is. It brings pleasure to the player, and it gives pleasure to the listners. Would love to see some more music from this couple.

  124. shelia starkey Says:

    that was wonderful , it absolutely made my day!!!!

  125. Faith Says:

    My family and I spent a lot of time at the Mayo Clinic when my Dad was dying. Teh care he received was wonderful. I enjoyed this immensly.

  126. Stephanie Lewis-Jensen Says:

    Definately brought a smile to my face!

  127. Celia Partridge Says:

    These two are wonderful…… They brought tears to my eyes……. My mom, Olive Partridge, in Salt Lake City, Utah is 94 and still performs several times a week with a few different musical groups. She plays the violin, fiddle, piano, mandolin, and she sang with the Tabernacle Choir for many years. She took up “old time fiddling” when she was in her 70s and has been senior Utah Old Time Fiddle champion on more than one occasion, and judged contests until shortly before my dad passed away (he was her road crew). I have a hard time keeping up with my mom, and I have to brag about her every chance I get……..

  128. Nicole Says:

    this is fabulous! it put a great big smile on my face! Thank you for sharing! And great job to the two “performers!” thanks again! : )

  129. Linda Says:

    My father received excellent care while at the Mayo Clinic many years ago. They, obviously, have been continuing their dedication to patient care.

    What an inspiration this couple is! Truly a testament to love long-lasting! You go, guys!!! Thanks for such a wonderful way to start my day.

  130. Margie Keener Says:

    This is great! IT brought a smile to the faces of even a 4 year old. Really neat! God bless them and the world.

  131. Natalie Says:

    That is awesome!

  132. june Says:

    Kudos to the Mayo Clinic for providing an wonderful outlet to the seniors who enjoy music. Maybe dancing could be added for further enjoyment.

  133. Lorraine Oubre Says:

    Wonderful ! This brightened my day.

  134. Richard Earle Perry Says:

    I used to be the President of Nemrod Groto clown unit.I was a silent white face clown with red nose, big wide red lip smile . I made balloon animals for all ages of people . Some times I would have real tears running down my face when I would see some of the extremely bad cases there in the Hospital. I was called Scotti because I was a drunk that always drank Scotch whiskey. I am now 75; I joined A.A. 3 years ago and haven’t touched Alcohol for three years. I now live in Thailand. If I had the money I would go back to Conn. where I was a clown & go back to being a clown.

  135. Victoria Colley Says:

    How Wonderful, the youth at their age

  136. Gale Says:

    This is great! What a fabulous performance by a fabulous couple! This is a great!

    I hope this makes it into everyone’s favorites! I love it!

  137. Jason Says:

    Really cute!

  138. Tazkatlady Says:

    What fun!! They look like they are enjoying themselves immensely. And I certainly enjoyed watching them. Kudos!, to a couple who have obviously been together so long and still know how how to enjoy life and each other!!!

  139. Toni Smith Says:

    I just went to you tube and did the serch ‘mayo clinic piano’ and found them there plaing…. I just had to have them in my faviortes…
    I thought they were so awesome and the fun they were having and the fun they gave to us… go check it out…

  140. Geneva Price Says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Happy day. These people know how to live.

  141. JILL A INGENITO Says:


  142. Janet Delello Says:

    If this doesn’t make you smile, there is something wrong with you. How fun! Just wish they would have played more. Thank you!

  143. Yugioh Says:

    WOW, and when I say WOW I mean… WOW WOW WOW!!!

  144. Karl Gilbertson Says:

    I am being treated @ Mayo Clinic and traveled to Rochester earlier today. The piano in the Gonda Building impressed me the first day I saw it (1/5/09) and my wife and I walked by it twice today and listened to the pianists and accompanying vocalist.

    Music is great medicine and the Cowans are remarkable people. They are a great story and the person who filmed it has a great story also.

  145. Sharon Says:

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful moment. I love most music and the older sometimes the better. It reminded me of my parents playing “chop sticks” in a duet on their piano each Sunday. Then Mom would play Beautiful Pink Lady and another song I’m not sure how to spell. Dad could play the trombone as well. Both my parents sang too. We always had music in the house. This video reminded me that we are never to old to have fun and enjoy life. And they aren’t bashful either. God Bless them both and give them many more years together.
    Thanks again

  146. Aileen Says:

    Go guys – my dad played rag-time on his 90th birthday! this brought back memories -I’m 86 and if i had a piano, I would play it

  147. john viaggio Says:

    this proves that regardless of age, music will always be the soul and the “fountain of youth” of life. truly wonderful.

  148. Joan Klimke Says:

    Wonderful to see people like that.Alittle light shining in a dark world

  149. Sandy Winchester Says:

    Soooooooooooooooooooooo sweet. What a cute little couple.

  150. Don Cloughley Says:

    …Sat on her old grey bonnet
    With a bumblebee in it
    and got up right away
    `cause the bee got busy
    and he stung poor Lizzy
    on her …..GOLDEN WEDDING DAY !!!!!

  151. Mayday! Mayday! « Merrilymarylee’s Weblog Says:

    […] […]

  152. Brenda Says:

    Glad to see that their enjoying life and having fun, Outstanding! What a Blessing!

  153. June Yates Says:

    I play the piano for the Ambassadors of Lafayette and know how important music is at every age! Our baby is age 66 and oldest is 88. We rehearse on the first and last Thursdays and entertain on the other Thursdays or other days. In April we went to four places, the Veterans’ Home, two nursing homes, and at the clubhouse of a subdivision. Last Saturday we entertained at a Mother-Daughter banquet. We sing the type of music (mostly) that this lovely couple was playing. Music helps keep us stimulated!

  154. Diane Louise Says:

    Here’s the words to the song they’re playing:

    Put on your old grey bonnet with the blue ribbons on it,
    And we’ll hitch old Dobbin to the shay,
    Thru the fields of clover we will ride to Dover
    On our golden wedding day !

  155. Carol Saint Says:

    We really enjoyed the lively music. Hope the players are feeling fine!

  156. Jean Fischer Says:

    I loved listening to them play the piano and enjoyment they got out of it and the enjoyment I received from hearing it. They are a tribute to the Oldies but Goodies and I wish I had a partner who enjoyed life the way they look like they do. God Bless them for bringing such joy.

  157. BARBARA Says:



  158. Dorothy Larson Says:

    GREAT!!!!! I loved it ,it was just the best!!! It just made my whole day!!!!
    May God bless them with good health for a very long time!
    Thankyou so much, keep it up!

  159. Anne Bachner Says:

    My friends and I entertain (play piano and sing) at nursing homes and assisting living centers. It’s great fun, although we are not as good as these folks. I would love to know the name of the duet they played. We hope to perform at a nursing home in Paris this fall and it would be fun to try and work this up.

    • Hannelore Says:

      Title is PUT ON YOUR BONNET – Some refer to it as ON YOUR GOLDEN WEDDING DAY, but I don’t believe that is the actual title.

      If you look a little further down on the comments you’ll find another recording

    • Gramamy Says:

      The Title is Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet.
      Put on your old grey bonnet with the blue ribbons on it, and we’ll hitch old Dobbin to the shay,
      Through the fields of clover we’ll ride off to Dover
      On our golden wedding day.

  160. Pat Samples Says:

    I have been traveling all over Minnesota for the Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network encouraging creative artistic activity by older adults. What a delight to find this stunning example! I’m convinced (and the research backs me up) that we’d all feel a big improvement in our health if we were immersed in being creative in our older years. It’s also obvious from this video that everyone benefits when older people in our community share their creativity with us. Here’s to the arts — and here’s to better health because of them!

    • pam arivett Says:

      Is this the Pat Samples that left HP to go into nursing school? I replaced a Pat Samples at HP in ’79 I believe.

  161. Paul & Blanche Qualls Says:

    We’ve past this piano many times in the past years, but never was fortunate enough to hear anyone playing it. This couple is proof of “YOU ARE JUST AS OLD AS YOU FEEL” may they continue to play for years to come. God Bless both of them!

  162. MJ Says:

    This is truly enlightening especially in today’s trials and tribulations. Thank you for posting such a delightful event.

  163. Mary Says:

    That is the most adorable & enjoyable sight to behold!! They obviously have a real zest for life & a lot of love to share. May God bless them & help them through whatever hardships they have to endure. This is the best cure for whatever alis you for sure. I’d love to be that appreciative of life should I ever live so long with my husband.

  164. Jenny Says:

    All I can say this was BEAUTIFUL!!!
    I enjoyed it so very very much!!
    What A Beautiful Couple!
    God Bless.

  165. Mary O Says:

    Absolutely PRECIOUS!!!! These two amazing people have brought joy to so many!!!! I will bookmark this page for any time I need a smile! God bless!!!

  166. Linda Dobson Says:

    I absolutely adore this couple. This is so uplifting. What a blessing to us all.

  167. Darlene Says:

    How great to see the elderly having fun, and not sitting in rocking chairs wasting away.

    • John Says:

      Darlene, You stereotype the elderly. We do not sit in rocking chairs and waste away!

      • Renee Says:

        Thank you John…what a misconception! I have to say this brought me to tears…loveliness beyond description!

    • Patrick Collins Says:

      We work long hours and farm, raise ducks and volunteer with animal rescue. No sitting around for us.

      Don’t prepare to be sitting around when you reach your 70s. you’ll be busier than ever!

  168. Sybil Dodson Says:

    Thanks for sharing such fun and joyful music! It reminded me of many happy hours I’ve enjoyed through the years with some special older friends.

  169. Brett Eklund Says:

    I was a member of the YMCA Boys Chorus and Bell Ringers from Des Moines, IA, in the late 60’s early 70’s. The Cowan’s created and directed the Chorus for numerous years. We sang and traveled to Media Yucatan, Mexico, Bogata, Columbia, Washing DC and NY, NY. The Cowan’s are wonderful people and I cherish the memories from the chorus days.

  170. Jim Says:

    I hope I’m as happy when I’m in the hospital as those two.

    • Becky Says:

      You can say that again Jim. I have been back and fourth to Mayo clinic in the past and normally not feeling well or I would not have to be there.

  171. margie Says:

    God bless the young at heart!!

  172. Ruth Says:

    Thanks for sparking a wonderful memory. My mom and grandmother were both accomplished pianists. Before we had TV, the two of them kept us entertained with such wonderful music, and my Dad always sang along. I have sent this clip to my children and grandchildren to let them know what wonderful things I experienced as a child. Thank you so much for sharing!

  173. sandi enfield Says:

    I really loved those two oldsters and their music! Music helps everyone feel a lot better I thnk!


  174. Nancy Fear Says:

    I just finished watching the video of the old couple playing the piano at the Mayo Clinic. That was a more wonderful story for me than you could have ever guessed. That man WAS (just like) my Dad! The only reason my Mom wasn’t the other part of the duet was that she couldn’t play the piano…….she would have been sitting there clapping for him (and getting her bottom patted on his way by!) I also had a tumor in my lower left jaw (giant cell granuloma) and lost 6 teeth…and had the implants into the remaining bone for the prosthesis. Until reading the story of your Mom, I didn’t realize how very lucky I was to have had only a couple of surgeries from it. I have put the video into “my favorites” so I can replay watching “Dad” in the future. He and Mom were married 54 years when he died in 1984. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your Mom….you are a great daughter!

  175. Cathy Burkett Says:

    Would love to receive other piano players. My husband was an outpatient there in March, 2009, and most of his treatment was at the Gonda Building.

    We enjoyed the piano music then and would like to hear most of it.

  176. M Taylor Says:

    I love the way he pats her behind on the way by and then she protects herself on the next exchange!

  177. Little Jimmy Says:

    Oops! Correction – it was in the latter, not the early, days of WWII. Long term memory loss. So it goes!

  178. Little Jimmy Says:

    What a delight! It is reminiscent of the early days of WWII when my mother and grandmother would hammer at the old upright piano, and we would sing at the top of our lungs. There was one night when a lovely British lady neighbor (Mrs. Emdon) knocked on the door while we were singing “Would You Like to Swing on a Star” at a volume you could hear across town. In a voice like crystal, she asked “Is anyone home? Thanks for the duet, and thanks for the renewal of old memories.

  179. Netta Christie Says:

    My friend, Cec, in Canada, sent me this video. I live in Stockport, Cheshire, England, and I have played this old couple playing at least once a day since I got it. My husband,Bill, who died 5 years ago, loved all kinds of music, as I do, and he would have really enjoyed this. It makes me smile everytime I play it. I hope they realise the pleasure they give to many people.

  180. Marcia Lyons Says:


  181. Denise LeDoux Says:

    Love Watching and it made my heart sing. What I great Couple- I hope I have that much fun when I’m there age. I do Now!!!!

  182. Dorothy Elder Says:

    They were great……they must of had so much fun in their life! I could listen to it over and over. God Bless everyone

  183. Peggy Says:

    Inspirational! A friend sent this to me. I have been a piano teacher for over 30 years. I recently moved to another state and decided to teach only adult students this time around. My first piano student here is an 84-year-old gentleman who has never had a music lesson in his life. He has had one lesson, and my work is cut out for me. I am sending this video to him to inspire and encourage him, that it is never too late to enjoy music. He is determined to make those tremoring fingers make music.

    • Nicole Says:

      I want to personally say thank you for investing in our seniors! I work with them every day & it continues to be a joy to learn from what they have already experienced! I think what you are doing is phenominal!!! Thank You!

  184. REv. Maggie Simpson Says:

    A real delight to see. Just one of hundreds of things (Senior) Mature folks can do, and enjoy with others.

  185. Tom & Judy Says:

    dear sir that was wonderful the song they playwd is on the tip of my tongue but can’t think of title if you would please e–mail me or call me at 1-920-687-0475 with the name of the title I would greatly appriciate it
    as my wife and I are getting close to the nursing home ourselves 66 and 67 heehee thank you & God Bless We think the song is Put On Your Old grey Bonnet
    Tom & Judy

    • Tissi Says:

    • JannaFreeman Says:

      The name of the song the elderly couple play was “Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet” My Mother and Dad played that many times when I was a youngster and I still remember all the words by heart.

  186. Betty Says:

    How delightful!

    I could hear the fun and positive outlook on life by the giggles! What a great choice to make. I am trying for the same.

  187. Betty Brown Says:

    I think this was absolutely wonderful. What a way to enjoy aging together.

  188. Trennie Laforet Says:

    Hope I am doing much the same at that stage…gets closer every day…Thanks for what we have …should be a part of every day….a song , a tune inspires us to think the thoughts and dreams of yesteryear and inspires todream and think about those yet to come..

  189. Drama Storer Says:

    Wonderful, I enjoyed this so much . May you both continue playing and entertaining all of us for many more years. Thanks again, and God Bless

  190. Marie Says:

    I think it is wonderful to see the older generation(like Me & my husband) having fun together. Keep it up it makes you stay young.

  191. Clint Goodrich Says:

    Very Good, really enjoyed it, Reminds me of the way my Grandmother used to play! Thanks

  192. Frances Resch Says:

    This was delightful. the song was taught to me by my
    grandmother, who passed away 56 years ago. Most
    times our “entertainment was to sing. Old songs, new
    songs, anything. So few people remember these old ones
    any more. As I recall the words go like this:

    On the old front porch veranda
    There sat Silas & Miranda
    thinking of the days gone by.
    Said he “Dearie, don’t be weary
    you were always bright & cheery,
    now a tear, Dear, dims your eye.”

    Said she “These aren’t tears of sadness, Silas,
    these are tears of gladness,
    t’was 50 years ago that we were wed.”
    And his dear old heart alightened
    and his dim old blue eyes brightened
    as he turned to her and said…

    Put on your old grey bonnet
    with the blue ribbons on it
    while I hitch old Dobbin to the shay.
    Through the fields of clover
    we’ll go down to Dover,
    On our Golden Wedding Day!

    Thanks for the memories. At 70 years young this is still an “OLD” song to me!!

  193. Carole Wright Says:

    What a wonderful up-lifting few minutes

  194. Karen Wilson Says:

    What a wonderful email!!
    It was hard to keep the tears back.
    They were soooo good!
    I’m glad that I got to see it and send it on to my friends.
    Thank You.



    • Dixie Says:

      Try this link

    • Paula Reid Says:

      Click on the internet exployer and enter the following address. The ealiest way to do that is to highlight the web address below, click on copy, then go to the address line and highlight it and hit delete. The line will now be blank. Place your cursor in the blank web addrss line and while the cursor is blinking paste the address below that you have copied and hit the enter key. Wayla, it will take you right to it. Good luck and let me know if it works for you.

  196. Sharyn Says:

    God knew just what I needed today. Got some not so good news and felt pretty down. What a pick-me-upper!!
    What a beautiful couple having and sharing such fun! I truly, truly enjoyed it and am also saving it for future Pick-me-ups!

  197. Barbara Says:

    Such an inspiratiion to us all. They should be on Good Morning America and other T.V. Shows. Go for. When Americas Got Talent on T.V. comes back they need to be on it.

  198. Janet Marquart Says:

    Oh how I remember the Gonda Building and the piano at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester! I owe my life to them and their aggressive treatment plan for my Breast Cancer. The place is so inspirational, and piano music flowing through the halls is magical.

  199. Joan K. Smith Says:


  200. Betty Day Says:

    Watching the video made my eyes well up with tears, what a great couple. Having to spend much time at the Mayo Hospital in Phoenix, AZ (I am a Post Kidney-Transplantee of 8 years) I always found the piano playing to be very relaxing and Theraputic. Not being a piano player myself I truly enjoy listening. This couple are a HOOT! God Bless Them for making the hospital environment so much nicer for people in not always such nice situations in their health.
    They have made my day and I am sure many others as well!!

  201. Karen Says:

    Absolutely Delightful!!! I’m sorry Debbie missed the whole picture of what it is really about!!

  202. Bruce Beals Says:

    Was amazed to recognize Marlo & Fran. They instructed our early teen
    aged children in the Des Moines YMCA bell ringers & chorus. They
    traveled all over the US, Mexico, & Venezuela in old converted school buses
    Marlow still repairs hand bells sent from all over the world. They were just
    amazing working with all the young people. Our daughter met her husband
    of 33 years through the group.

    Keep up your good work–Marlow & Fran.

  203. Pat Stoddard Says:

    This makes me look forward to finding some nice guy to play some ragtime with when I make it to a retirement home! Wonderful!!

  204. Laura Says:

    Delightful couple! I just want to give them each a hug!

  205. H D. Osborne Says:

    Thank Had. Send me more . I like good piano

  206. mary c Says:

    thank you. this truly lifted my hearts and spirits today. Thank you for posting this.

  207. LadyHawke Fellows Says:

    I love seeing that enthusiasm sparkling through age – reminds me of my
    parents. We had tag-team piano duets at home, and organ-piano duets.
    They passed their love via their music to all who knew them, and their children keep it going.

  208. George Kilen Says:

    It is too bad that it wasn’t longer as i truly enjoyed the music. I think the Mayo Clinic knows how to help the healing process work. Thank you so much

  209. Cally Underwood Says:

    An example of two people ‘sharing’ their lives, instead of living separate ones. Wish it had happened for me, and I pray it happens for my children and grandchildren. Wonderful little clip.

  210. Michael D. Austing Says:

    Outstanding! They both still have “bounce”-I love it! My sisters and I grew up in a musical family-my grandfather had 2 bands at Antioch Shrine Temple in Dayton, OH. I still have a love for the ‘big band’ music of the ’40s and western swing that his bands performed. Most rehearsals were at his house where my first sister, parents and I lived in the basement. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing their music; Grandpa could make that old clarinet talk! !

    Mike Austing
    Dennison, OH

  211. Mary Says:

    Loved it !! “Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet” is the name of the song !

  212. Anne Miller Says:

    I think it is called My Golden Wedding Day.

    I am saddened by your unhappiness Debbie, I pray for you.

  213. Holly T Says:

    This was fabulous!! It just sends a message of love and keeps the smiles going! I have played the piano for 32 years and now my 8 year old daughter is playing and would love to play this with me. Does anyone know the name of this?

  214. gozn Says:

    Fabulously happy!

  215. Felicity Says:

    Actually, as a pianist myself, it’s very obvious that they are doing the playing. You can tell by where their hands are…all mistakes are visible to another pianist, the lags between when they change positions, she falls onto the bench, etc.

    Any player piano can be used as a regular one, and this is the case here. So hopefully, the writer will watch again and enjoy the skill and love these two have poured out for us all to enjoy!

  216. Chad Says:

    Get down with your bad selves!

  217. Denise Putman Says:

    Loved this……when my Mother was on the cancer floor at an Omaha hospital I would go down to the lounge area and play the piano…..patients who were able to walk down or in their wheel chairs seemed to enjoy the music……it is a nice memory for me of my Mom feeling proud I guess that her daughter could bring joy to other cancer patients… great that this couple could not only bring joy to others but obviously to each other…..we need more of that in our world today…….I lost my mom but I still think about the other patients and hope that my mediocre playing did bring them joy and could help them for at least a few minutes forget about the fact that they were fighting cancer…..

  218. sappy dad Says:

    This is what all kids should see so they know what true love is. I want to meet these two so I can give them a great big, well deserved hug.

  219. Darlene Dougherty Says:

    this was awesome, hope this video brings a smile to everyone, someday this may be you. I would like to share this with everyone. 🙂

    • debbie Says:

      my daughter was actually at mayo earlier this week and she saw the piano – it actually was a player piano – it was playing by itself – so those people could of been making pretend that they were playing – installed inside the piano is an item called a disclavier – it plays cd’s and the keys go up and down

      • Heather Says:

        Shame on you Debbie, you should just enjoy the clip instead of putting a negative projection on it. This was truly an amazing clip that has brought smiles and laughter to people. We should just leave it at that!! It was truly a clip of happiness.

      • ej Says:

        don’t be a party pooper

      • Wes Says:

        Sorry Debbie but I have a player piano and you can also play music on it as well as have it play by itself. They were playing the music because they messed up once and the piano did not continue playing without them. What a lovely couple that just brightened my day.

      • Catherine Benson Says:

        Hi Debbie,
        I’m a staff member at Mayo and I can tell you that it is not a player piano. There is a player piano in one of the hotels near the Clinic. Perhaps your daughter saw the player piano there.

        The piano in the Gonda Building lobby is one of many grand pianos that Mayo Clinic has in waiting areas and atriums at all three of our sites for patients and visitors to play. The pianists, the singers, and on occaision the dancers, all bring joy to everyone passing by. The pianos are an important part of the healing environment that the Mayo brothers sought to create more than 100 years ago. It seems like they knew what they were doing!

      • Kristen Says:

        I work at the Mayo Clinic and that piano is a really nice grand piano that anyone can sit down and play. It does NOT play by itself.

      • Willlo Says:

        Debbie, I doubt they were faking it because I know music pretty well and I detected a few “missed” keys during their performance. It was so touching to see how they enjoyed entertaining others. I really think they were playing because automated music doesn’t have that many flaws of missed keys which, by the way, added the personal touch to their playing.

      • Jackie Says:

        Debbie: Too bad you’ve ruined it for us.
        I was really believing that t hey were playing.
        Whatever the case…they did a good job at pretending
        and blessed a lot of viewers…like me.

        OH: I just noticed Kristen’s note that clearly states; IT DOES NOT PLAY BY
        SO there Debbie…DAH…

      • Di Says:

        If you listen carefully, you will hear mistakes. Player pianos do not make mistakes nor does it pause like the piano playing did when the lady “fell” to the piano bench. A musician can tell it was real!

  220. Karen Says:

    What a blessing in a needy environment. May the joy they give be returned 100 fold. The UW Hosp in Seattle had an old upright piano in a lobby area. So many strained and sad faces–until a young man sat down and played! Faces lit up, toes tapped, and laughter and clapping was heard. Thank you, again, to those who lift the spirits of others.

  221. Harold & Joyce Cantrell Says:

    How wonderful to see these two having fun after all those years. We will celebrate our 53rd in August of 2009. I play keyboard at a nursing home and they love it (I make lots of mistakes but they don’t mind) and I tell my grand daughters they can find a “musical” man as easy as one who is not musically inclined. Music does wonders for the soul.

  222. Frank Atzberger Says:

    Wonderful. What a mood lifting experience. Truly a gift for all of us.

  223. Anne Miller Says:

    This is so very special. Thank you.

    I too am keeping this in my favorites. If you are not smiling with this you are dead.

  224. Joe Weimer Says:

    May this couple be granted many more years of the love and joy they truly give to others.

  225. Paula Redslob Says:

    Who says older people cannot have fun, even with all the challenges they face!

  226. Donna Hansen Says:

    What a way to get a smile ,I am passing this one seems to know their names or who they were. I hope they know how much their antics were ejoyed by so many

    • Lee Aase Says:

      The performers featured in this video are Marlow and Frances Cowan, and they live in a town near Des Moines, Iowa. He turned 90 in February. I spoke with him on Monday of this week, and although they don’t have a Web browser and have only seen the video on someone else’s cell phone, they do have an email machine and have heard from many of their former students. I’m hoping we will be able to get more of their story told, either here on Sharing Mayo Clinic or through more traditional media like TV, newspaper and radio, because from everything I’ve heard (and as you can see in this brief video snippet), they are a fascinating pair.

      • Pat Hudsonpillar Says:

        What a blessing these two performers are! Do you suppose they had actual printed music for that rendition? If so, what is it’s name??

  227. Donald Says:

    I love Piano, and though I have heard of synchronized piano playing, I never saw it played as well with a dance routine.

  228. Cindy Maas Says:

    This is the most wonderfully charming piece of “reality video” I believe I’ve ever seen on this great public bulletin board that the world now shares – how amazingly inspiring and enchanting!
    I do hope that all of you whom I care about enough to share this with will laugh out loud and enjoy this over and over as I did and plan to do tomorrow and the next day and every day that I need something to make me smile. God bless and keep you, always according to his perfect will. With love always~

  229. Jane Krueger Says:

    Watching this video filled my day with happiness and a little melancholy. This couple is truly amazing and so young at heart! They made me think of my parents who have both passed away and the fact that I miss them more and more as they years go by. I hope these two people can share many many more years together making other people laugh and forget their worries for a while. God has truly given them a special gift. Their guardian angels most have a ball being with them everyday. We all have a lot to learn from these two. God bless them and all who read this. May you all have a healthy and happy life.

  230. Rosemarie Gilson Says:

    Words to song: “Put on your old gray bonnet with the blue ribbons on it and we’ll hitch old dobbin to the shay (?sp). Through the fields of clover we’ll ride up to Dover on our Golden Wedding Day.” I think that’s a NH song, but not sure. We celebrated our 50th five years ago!
    Thanks so much for the wonderful fun video.

  231. mary king Says:

    What a wonderful surprise! As they played, a thought occured to me; when we pass older people through out life, we never stop to think what knowledge, credits of life, talents, etc. these people have. Just time alone gives them knowledge, strength and credits of life. Talent is a God gift and i am so thankful that many of them will take the time to share this. The young man was a blessing also. Maybe a few people at hospitals, etc will take this suggestion and make that happen in their workplace for others.

  232. Marilyn Says:

    ENCORE, ENCORE….What a special talent and to be sharing it is even more of a blessing. I know that both the patients and their families, and guests, must have loved this. Music is a gentle kind of healer…
    Wish more people with this God given talent would do this for hospitals, clinics and nursing homes around the country! Thanks for sharing and hoping a speedy recovery to those there.

  233. Mary Jane Sorrell Says:

    Wonderful, wonderful. How can we get them to come to our CCRC, Glen Arden, Goshen, NY. 10924?
    They can certainly bring to life the joy.
    Thank you !!!

  234. Merlene - an Ozzie Says:

    “Music washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday Life”
    Thankyou so much for sharing that with me – I feel blessed that God gave me a talent and I love to play for these places also… sing, dance, feel free in yourself – that is what music does to us.

    Downunder Muso

  235. Carol Says:

    The lady giggling in the video made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of growing up and the fun we had in our home. They are absolutely precious. Thank you so much for a heartwarming feeling. They have my heart!!! How they must have enjoyed each other all these years!

  236. JEAN BUCHOLTZ Says:


  237. Chip Mathis Says:

    As soon as I saw the picture I knew it had to be Marlow and Fran. I first met them at the Des Moines YMCA Camp at Boone Iowa in 1959. They were a joy to listen to then as well as on 2009. The talents of this GREAT Couple are endless. If something makes a sound when hit/tapped Marlo & Fran have used it as a musical instrument. A GREAT Friendship we have had for 50 years !!! Marlow and his whole family enjoy the popcorn I take to them.

    Thanks for the interesting music.

  238. Jill Says:

    Any bright moment we can receive is a bleessing especially while dealing w/illness

  239. Dolores Says:

    I enjoyed this so much and will be watching it over and and over. Thank you for recording it.

  240. Anita Jean Says:

    I have a brother that use to play the piano and it always made us smile or think happy memories. I’m sure this couple must have some wonderful memories. You can hear it in their music. Loved it.

  241. Richard A. Weiss Says:

    Hellooooooooooooooo Anybody and Everybody

    yeah yeah I’m Ken’s younger brother thefremontguy
    I remember playing on the same piano when I was growing up I wrote some music when I was in college and still remember them and play them when I can. You’ll never know what the name is because I never published them.
    I learned to play piano just by writing these songs. My daughters play piano and taught themselves to play and well too. So our different generations have kept up this healing art . My youngest one loves to play piano & sing, and loves to make it her vocation. Playing piano and singing. We had a tall upright piano when I grew up. When my girls grew up I had two pianos one low upright piano and an electric. Ny Dad bought the low upright for my neice Lori when she was six. Then I bought it from her to keep it in the family when she needed money or couldn’t carry it aroung like a chair. one or the other. The small electric piano I got so we could bring it along where ever they (my daughters) wanted to practice I kept it in the family so my girls would enjoy playing it as they grew up. But now I had to get rid of the low upright because it was well out of tune and was too heavy for me to lug around anymore. Especially when we moved to NC. Anyway that’s my little story of pianos in my life. In the next thirty years there will be more to talk about especially when my children have children & their kids carry on this family heritage thing to make music, to carry on what my mom started when I was young listening to her play that high upright. If your interested in hearing more stories about anything I have some good ones, I guess I am the historian in my family, I remember them all.
    If interested in hearing about Jesus Christ and me, carrying his cross on the Villa Del la Rosa or seeing a mountain vibrate while a wild wind blew around me while meditating on top of a 800 foot hill climbing it to when it emediately turned into a mountain when I returned to my car after having my eyes opened to the beautiful flowers that covered it. you can reach me at:

  242. Kristen S Says:

    This is a true spirit-lifting, smile-making video! The couple is adorable and I hope their light hearted performance can help many people feel just a little bit better no matter what they’re going through. Thank you for sharing it!

  243. Mary Walsh Says:

    What a wonderful gift to both the patients & visitors to the Mayo. This has reached all the way to Newfoundland, Canada & I will surely send it on.



  245. Al Ross, Florida, USA Says:

    What a wonderful surprise. It put the biggest smile on my face, that I’ve had in a very long time.
    Thank you all…

  246. Leslie-Ann Bailey Says:

    This clip of the piano duet was sent to me by a friend to brighten my day and it certainly has. I smile and laughed out loud at the joy they were spreading. Thanks – so – much

    North Vancouver, BC, Canada

  247. Deb Basha Says:

    Sweet, charming and heartrending. My own dear father made the ultimate transition the 1st of June last year. This is a reminder of just how much fun life is…and what a celebration each day should be! Blessings!

  248. Donna Alquist Says:

    Thanks for the beautiful duet! Is there any chance that these folks might know the music to a very old tune that my mom used to play for us as children? I believe she said it was called “The Firehouse Brigade”. I would love to find the music to use at our Family Reunion to take place in Kentucky on June 13th and 14th of this year. If someone could record this precious couple playing that tune, that would be terrific.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.



    • MLou Says:

      Donna: why don’t you just key in The Firehouse Brigade on the subject line of your browser for music and words? good luck – sounds like a fun idea!

    • Chellis Says:

      Donna…Might it be called, “Midnight Fire-Alarm”? Written in 1900 by Harry J. Lincoln and published by the E.T. Paull Co. of NY. Dover Press put out a paper back book titled “More Favorite Songs of the Nineties, edited by Paul Charosh and Robert A. Fremont. If you can’t find the music, I would be glad to make you a copy and send it to you. It’s a wonderful piece. During the 1970’s to the 1990′ I was a singer/entertainer by the name of Rhinestone Rosie. My programs were of songs and nostalgia from the 1890’s up to the end of World War II. This took me throughout the Pacific Northwest as well as the US. These old songs will always be wonderful! Note: this music does not have any words…it is strictly piano, but great fun.

  249. Earlene from San Diego Says:

    WOW!! I’ve watched this again and again and it always brings a smile to my face. Such exhuberance and vitality by these two! No matter how bad one may feel, music can always bring laughter, smiles, happiness and enjoyment to a soul, no matter their age or how sick they may feel. The world needs more moments like this right now.

    Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us. I read all the comments here on line and didn’t find one who didn’t enjoy this short video.

    Keeping making the world laugh as God reminds all of us “Laughter is good for the soul.”

  250. Kelly Berg Says:

    That was wonderful! I just hope that I have enough life in me when I’m that age. They were truly amazing! Thank you!

  251. ken weiss Says:

    @ 97 years young, mom passed jan 08 – but when she could get to a piano she played ‘stuff’ i remember her playing as i was growing up in the Bronx & Los Angeles… & it always brought a smile to her face as we sang along together…
    also remember grandpa Joseph and his brother playing the mandolin and the family singing along…
    Only wish I had video taped her performances…

  252. Louis C DeBernardi Says:

    You can’t be to old to enjoy somthing like this,this was great,watching some senior really enjoy them self—
    This was great,great,great,thank you for making my day
    by the way I am 85 yrs young—

  253. Bruce Says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful video! It gave be chills and tears. Thank you!

  254. Sharon Schultz Says:

    Right in my own town! I just love this and wish I had been there. What a cute couple and they are just charming. Loved every minute of it. Would’t you know I wouldn’t have seen this, if it hadn’t been sent to me a friend in England!

  255. Reba Says:

    WOW!!! What more can you say??

  256. Byron Doyle Says:

    Lots to read, alas, no video. Could not open it.

    • Betty Clark Says:

      Byron, first you click on the colored url ( line that looks like its all jumbled up) when the picture comes on there is an arrow in the middle of it , then you click on that error and turn on your sound. Its wonderful.

  257. Roy B. Scott Says:

    Thank you for recording this wonderful, joyful moment in these people’s lives. The gift of music is truly one of God’s greatest gifts, and this delightful couple have shared this wonderful gift with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  258. Jalayne Steptoe Says:

    Fantastic!! you will never get too old to PRAISE GOD for HIS love, mercy, and bountiful gifts of making people happy. whether it be through your piano/organ playing or singing,if you cannot carry a tune even in a bucket, just being a friend, thru the bad times. makes me wish i could play the piano this good.

  259. betty beason Says:

    That was so amazing.!!!!!!!! This couple truly sets an example to people of all ages to just be happy no matter the illnesses that seem to take over us as we age. We can still have fun!

  260. Anne Shanholtz Says:

    WOW! This has made my day!
    What a beautiful video in the midst of all this chaos going on in the whole world.
    Thank you so much for sharing it!

  261. Frank Cocuzzo Says:

    Music, like Love, is Universal .
    It is an ever lasting form of communication .
    It was wonderful to watch this couple still enjoying life together .



  263. Prudence Says:

    That was precious and so funny! My husband was hospitalized @ Duke University Medical Center last September. My daughter would go down and play their grand piano. It was theraputic for her. Music is wonderful!

  264. Barb E. Says:

    The horse hitched to the sleigh is not Robin but Dobbin.

    86 year old Great Grandma

  265. Ronald Bledsoe Says:

    Would like to say that those senior citzen where out this world with their
    playing the piano. Really goe’s to show that you never to late to keep on
    enjoy life. God Blessing Them And all the staff at Mayo Clinic. Keep up the
    Good Work.

  266. Carole Spiller Says:

    I love, love, love these piano players! Precious, and funny! It is nice to see they still have a zest for life, and can still play and knock each other over!!! ROFL!!! I can only pray that my husband and I still have that kind of joy and love when we reach their age! Wonderful video!!

  267. Brenda Gardner Says:

    Pure Joy!!!!! How wonderful to see them express their joy in life.

  268. Santa B. Claus (B. Sharpe) Says:

    God Bless them both, and now I will put many more smiles by passing this along….
    Sharon You Were At The Right Place With The Camera, Perfect Job..
    Thanks For Sharing.
    Around The World this will go…..

  269. Lucille Marcovecchio Says:

    How wonderful to share one’s talents to bring a smile to someone’s face. I worked in a hospital like the Mayo Clinic and I know what this mean’s to people who are ill and especially to their families.
    The video was so uplifting it makes one want to dance.

  270. Tom Morris Says:

    What better way to spend time between appointments than reading and spending time at the concerts and just listening to people with talent share.

  271. Bob Biallas Says:

    Oh what a wonderful way to start the day in a hospital…….watching this couple play that piano makes me wish I could play like that. The songs of our day were so much fun to sing……and not like the trash they expel now-a-days. I know how the people in the hospitals and nursing homes appreciate music of their era. Me and my barbershop quartet sang the old songs in many hospitals and senior homes many times and you should see the brightness come into their eyes when we entertained for them. Their spirits are immediately lifted. Thanks to this couple for their wonderful piano act.

  272. Marvin Says:

    What a wonderfully entertaining couple! Bless them for brightening the day for folks and families at Mayo. We need more caring people like them, and thanks to their family for sharing such a heartwarming sight. Music reaches us all and is especially healing in places like these. God Bless.

  273. Pat Boudreau Says:

    How nice to see people doing healing things in a healing place.
    Too often hospitals are places of frustration and gloom.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Debra Says:

      Pat are you any relation to the Lou Boudreau who used to announce the professional baseball games in Chicago? If you are, I’m a distant cousin.

  274. Brad Bolgos Says:

    They have a player piano in the entrance of the Medical Center…it is fenced off so that no is allowed to play it. It would be so nice if they had a player or just let some folks go at it. Music does make the “World Go Round… Plus it is a great healer. This is a wonderfull video. We need more…………………………………………………

  275. Betty Hartley Says:

    I enjoyed those folks playing together and having fun. My Mom and older sister played piano. and as a family we sang together. My Dad and only Brother, and a nephew are Preachers. And we all can sing and enjoy when we are all together so we can sing again. Such a good time! I’ll be 77, October of this year.

  276. Kathy Kearney Says:

    In spite of the Mayo Clinic being a medical facility, it has a personal side. I was there for the first time in May of 04. I was scared and overwhelmed by the size of the clinic and staff. When I walked into the Gonda Building and walked down that staircase I heard strains of Amazing Grace flowing through the halls. It was like a weight had been
    lifted off my shoulders and I knew that whatever the diagnosis, everything was going to be O.K. That piano can work miracles! This “young” couple are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your talent. You don’t know what it could mean to some one else.

  277. Donna Bahn Says:

    the latter part of the music was put on your old gray bonnet with the blue ribbon on and we will drive old Robin (i think) anyway my grandmother used to play that when I was a child in fact was the only piece she played and I havn’t heard it since and I am now 65

  278. DOT BERNDT Says:


  279. Top Posts « Says:

    […] Mayo Clinic Music Fun We’ve highlighted the contributions of music to the healing environment at Mayo Clinic in some previous posts, […] […]

  280. Betty Hines Says:

    This absolutely made my day! This older couple looked like they were having such a wonderful, fun time, and it made me miss even more my Joe who would be 81 now. Thanks so much.

  281. Mr. Fay Johnson Says:

    Loved it, Loved it. I play the piano, always alone or with some other instruments. I’m also a piano tuner/technician and was the Band Mster while in the US Army at Camp Gordon.
    Just turning 81 and had to look up how to spell OCTOGENARIAN. Life Is Good. I love aall kinds of music, and hate noise.

  282. Peggy Anderson Says:

    WOW, what fun they were having.
    We’ve been to the Clinic many, many times and have heard several people playing. It is there for everyones enjoyment.
    We really enjoyed those two.
    Many THANKS!

  283. Connie Francis Says:

    Wow, That was fantastic. I would love to know these very charming and talented people.

  284. Cindy Says:

    Loved it! What a day-brightener!

  285. Joyce Lindsay Says:

    What a charming talented couple. It was amazing to hear & watch them having such a good time & sharing it with others. I play music in nursing homes, the residents I meet have taught me so much about life, they appreciate anyone who’ll stop by to talk with them or l have a sing song with them. They love the old tunes & gospel hymns. Music is the heart of the soul. God Bless.

  286. Jean Conklin Says:

    In this troubled world, it was inspiring to hear such laughter and watch this wonderful couple having the time of their lives at a piano. Life is good and we all could be inspired by this little bit of fun.

  287. Fran Whiteman Says:

    What a way to brighten the day of the patients and family members at Mayo Clinic. Thank you.

  288. Jan Bomstad Says:

    What a delight~ These 2 wonderful older people are truly an inspiration to all of us ~ thank you for sharing their talents and making everyone a little happier today!

  289. Sonia Martinez Says:

    I loved it! This is proof possitive (if we needed it) that we are never too old to enjoy life…..

  290. Tom Denchy Says:

    If this doesn’t tickle your heart strings and bring a smile you are not alive!!

  291. Mary Says:

    This is great. Makes me wish I could play the piano.

  292. HUBERT VAN VUGT Says:


  293. Leslie Tackett Says:

    God bless this young man. My brother played the piano at a young age. Mom showed him a few notes and the rest of the story. He could play just like Jerry Lee Lewis and all the top piano players.
    My brother was a preacher. We would go to differant churches and he, I and our mom would get up to sing with him playing the ebonies and ivories. Both my mom and brother are no longer living. I know they are in heaven playing the piano and singing praises to the Lord. Oh how I miss those days.
    God bless you and your talent.

  294. Kay Says:

    I was not able to view this. Is there something i can do in order to view it. Thanks

  295. Brenda Robbins Says:

    This is a bright start for any workday or any day. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. They seem to just bubble with happiness. I hope to have this much happiness throughout my life with my husband.

  296. Gail Ann Wacker Says:

    And hugs to Bobbi. I just lost my mom in July and have many raw moments. Eventually, Bobbi, you will be able to talk about him without crying.
    We each grieve in our own way, in our own time. NEVER let anyone tell you “you should be over it”, or anything like that.

    with love,


  297. Gail Ann Wacker Says:

    As a Cleveland Clinic employee of 30 years, I was absolutely delighted to see this!

    Sent to me by a friend.

    What an awesome couple!

    Gail in Shaker Heights, Ohio

  298. Leah Siegel Says:

    I just assume this is a married couple that has been together for many years. And then I think, we should all be so so lucky to grow old with someone we love and have fun with like they have.

  299. Carl Reicherzer Says:

    There’s a couple who knows how to have a lot of fun. Loved it.

  300. Bobbi Larson Says:

    I’m still greiving over the loss of my husband and I can truthfully say no one completely understands this. I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps this whole weekend but this video gave me such a laugh and a wonderful lift. So much fun and heartwarming.

    • Fran Whiteman Says:

      Bobbi, I understand. My husband and I was at Mayo in the summer of 2006 for his dx of ALS. He has since passed and I know the emptiness and emotions. God Bless you and know there is a smile waiting for you in heaven.

  301. ann Says:

    Wonderful Ju’d’vie, even though I don’t know how to spell it!!

  302. Charlotte Says:

    Beautiful expression of love! I love the giggling in the background!

  303. Aunt Deb Says:

    Fabulously happy! My 14 year old daughter was smiling as much as I when it was over. I’ll be sharing with MANY people today!

  304. tom schatten berg Says:


  305. Janet Yontz Says:

    What a way to start the day—SMILING!! I am keeping this video in my “FAVORITES” This is long distance healing!!! Thank you!!

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