Man in his 90s keeps playing piano for fellow patients in Salt Lake City

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 21, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY -- A piano sits in the middle of the University of Utah's Hospital lobby in Salt Lake City, and an elderly patient regularly volunteers his musical talents to help his fellow patients feel a bit better.

"I'm just part of the volunteer system that makes this hospital a little more homelike, a little more like somewhere you feel good about being," said Ed Lueders, a volunteer pianist at the hospital.

Ed Lueders is 91, and he has been playing and writing music his whole life. Now, he's not only a patient at the hospital, but also a volunteer. He serves as pianist twice a week.

"To be one of the volunteers who helps people in their extremity, whatever their difficulty may be, it's something that I can kind of share and feel sympathetic and empathetic about with my music," Lueder said.

And because he's losing his sight, Ed plays all by ear.

"It's all here in the keyboard," he said. "I just have to find it, and when I do find it, and it's something that's a change in what I've played before--it becomes an addition," Lueder said.

Hundreds of patients, visitors and employees pass through every day and they get to hear Ed's music fill the lobby.

"It's really difficult, most people who are coming here are unhappy--and so it's nice to have some ambient noise that is not noise because it feels like everything else that is going on in your life, and painful things that are happening. It's nice to have some peace," said Jana Grass of Pleasant Grove.

Ed hopes to play his music as long as he can.

"It just makes it more pleasant, more like somewhere you might wish to go rather than have to go," Lueders said.