Elsie Beeler playing the piano

Charleston Resident Says Key to Celebrating 100 Years Can Be Found in Music

What’s the key to aging gracefully? If you ask centenarian Elsie Beeler, she’ll tell you it’s all about music.

For 100 years, she’s been hitting all the right keys on the piano. She discovered her love for music back in the 1920s, after her mother taught her to play. She turned that passion into a career as a teacher and has taught hundreds of children throughout the years.

“Music has always been a part of her life,” said Beeler’s daughter, Susan. “Sharing her love of life, and her interest in learning about new things, is what’s helped her be so successful in living 100 years.”

Edgewood Summit is committed to helping residents stay involved and fulfilled. The life care community offers several active group classes such as fitness, painting and – for Elsie – music.

Research has shown there are mental and physical benefits to playing and listening to music as you age. Music has also been found to improve a musician’s immune system functions and even reduce stress.

Nearly every day, Elsie finds her way to the piano inside The Arthur B. Hodges Center, the memory support area of the senior living community where she lives. She plays hymns by memory for the other residents and continues to fulfill her passion for music.

“Elsie is such an inspiration to us here at Edgewood Summit,” said activity director Myra Lucas. “Even at 100 years old, she wants to share her love for music with others. Our residents enjoy listening to her music. It truly makes their day.”

In January 2018, Elsie celebrated her 100th birthday with her family and friends at Edgewood Summit. WCHS-TV was there to do a story on the event.