Group of Idaho musicians over age 70 entertain local seasoned citizens

Photo: Mabel Vogt, 81, and Scott Hallett, 75, with the Palouse Area Fiddlers. The picture was taken by Frankie Beer for The Spokesman-Review.

Founded in the 1960s, the Palouse Area Fiddlers is a local nonprofit branch of the Idaho Old Time Fiddlers. The group has 34 performances scheduled from January to April at area assisted living facilities and community centers.

All of the musicians are in their 70s and 80s. Together, they play fiddles, guitars and mandolins without sheet music. In fact, they prefer to play by ear, one of the group members, Susan Irvin, 72, told the Spokesman-Review.

In a 2022 press release, AARP noted 55% of Americans over the age of 45 are actively learning new things, with factors like time and cost influencing their attitudes toward learning. Fifty-four percent are motivated to learn just to maintain their brain health.

Scott Hallett, 75, said attitude is everything when learning a new skill at an older age. During his retirement, Scott praised the Palouse Area Fiddlers as his motivation to get out of bed, sharpen his memory and perform rather than “just noodling around.”

“If you retire, you’ve got to have something to do, or you’re just going to sit in your recliner and eventually die,” he said.

The full story can be found at the Spokesman-Review.