A Sweet Song


“I love music,” said Hazel Jensen.

Hazel Jensen, 87, says playing music for seniors is her passion.

“I love it.  I love to see the reaction of them with these old songs,” Jensen said. 

It’s music to her ears. 

“When you see these people and you play their favorite song and they cry, they think of their husbands and the years gone by and everything.  It’s so important,” Jensen said. 

Four days a week for more than a decade, Jensen and her ivories have entertained at Pacifica Senior Living in Bakersfield.   

“I just hope they enjoy it,” Jensen said. 

I think it’s safe to say they do. 

“They’re songs all of us are familiar with and it’s fun to sing along with them or just listen.  Sometimes I hum along with them and it’s hard to keep my feet still.  I just tap along,” said Marjorie Presley, a resident at Pacifica Senior Living.

That’s the reaction Jensen plays for. 

“I know she has a special place in her heart for our seniors,” said Ailey Foster, Community Relations Director, Pacifica Senior Living.

Jensen started playing the piano when she was 14. 

“I don’t know why my mother never told me to stop, it was terrible,” Jensen laughed.

She admits she’s not a professional.

“Oh no, I’m not good enough.  I can’t tell time, that’s the sad part.  I took one lesson and this girl says ‘I think that’s hopeless you jazz it up and you can’t do that’,” Jensen laughed. 

But no matter the timing or rhythm, Jensen is playing a sweet song. 

“There’s a lot of lonely people in the world.  Everyone has a story and they love to tell you their story,” Jensen said. 

Jensen hopes others will play her song too. 

“You don’t have to have any talent.  There’s so many little jobs they can do they don’t have to play or anything like that.  They just need to volunteer and maybe read to them,” Jensen said. 

Jensen plays the piano at four senior living facilities in Kern County.

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