Giving the gift of music!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” – Plato

Imagine the opportunity to give the gift of music to others; Catherine Meng, volunteer musician at The Elliott Community does exactly that. As a Third Year University of Guelph Biomedical Science student, Catherine focuses on her studies but with a minor in music and a passion to share with others, her music brings happiness to residents, and in turn, to Catherine.


“Ever since I started a music minor in my first year of University, I realized how much I truly enjoyed playing the piano. There was so much that I learned that year; how there was so much power in music and that art in general was something to be shared with others. Having played piano for a decade, I wanted to put my practice to use; I didn’t want to keep music all to myself. So I looked for ways to perform in the Guelph community on Guelph’s database for volunteer positions, and I found the perfect opportunity as a Musician Volunteer at the Elliott Community.”


The Elliott Community is a not-for-profit, registered charity and welcomes volunteers with open arms “we believe that volunteers play an important part in enriching the residents’ life” says Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Shefter, “Catherine is an example of the impact one person can have in the lives of others.”


Volunteering has many benefits with its impact seen and felt in a variety of forms. “I have learned so much from my experience volunteering at the Elliott Community, not only about piano, but on how to be a good person. From the experience, I feel I have grown as an individual, and have developed more confidence in myself and my abilities. I have become more comfortable playing piano in front of others and I have developed into a more open person.” Catherine shares.


“Simultaneously, I am humbled to be able to play for people with such wisdom and kindness, and grateful that they have taken the time in their day to enjoy music with me. Every time after performing, I would have a lot of positive energy, no matter what mood I was in before I started playing.”


As October’s Volunteer of the Month, Catherine and her experience demonstrate how finding your passion and sharing it with others is a meaningful way to volunteer. “Every time a resident tells me that they enjoyed my performance is a highlight moment. It is so gratifying to know that what I had aimed to do had been achieved and encourages me to continue being better!” says Catherine “I want to thank the residents, and the volunteer coordinator at the Elliott Community for providing me with this amazing opportunity. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.”


To learn more about The Elliott Community, please visit

Posted on October 2, 2017