A memoir by Robin Russell Gaiser
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Robin Russell Gaiser earned her B.A. in English at e College of William and Mary, where she also sang and played with a folk-rock group, both on campus and in venues in Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. After graduation she taught writing and literature in Fairfax County, Virginia; then, while raising her family, she gave private lessons in guitar and dulcimer and performed publicly under the auspices of the Fairfax County Council of the Arts. She also sang in classical choirs and joined e Mill Run Dulcimer Band, recording seven albums now included in the Smithsonian collection.
With her children grown, Robin earned an M.A. in psychology from Marymount University and worked as a guidance counselor for eight years. en, after relocating to upstate N.Y. and becoming caregiver—and bedside musician—for her dying father, she enrolled in a certi cation program for therapeutic musicians. As a Certi ed Music Practitioner (CMP), she is trained to provide live, bedside, one-on-one acoustic music to critically and chronically ill, elderly, and dying patients.
After forty-three years in northern Virginia and eight years in upstate New York, Robin and her husband relocated to Asheville, N.C., where she has pursued both her music and her writing careers. Her fiction has appeared in the women’s literary journal Minerva Rising (“Angels,” Dec. 2012) in three anthologies of short stories published by Grateful Steps Publishing (Drowning Allison & other stories (“Yellow,” 2012), The Cricket & other stories (“Doorways,” 2014), and Bits of Sugar & other stories (“I’ll Fly Away,” 2016); and in Writing in Circles: A Celebration of Women’s Writing, published by Sunburst Cabin Press (“Took Out the Tattered,” 2014). Her essay “How Music Led Me to Memoir” appeared on the blog, Memoir Writers’ Journey, published by Kathy Pooler, in 2014.
Currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Narrative Medicine at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Graduate Center, Robin also volunteers as a musician at homeless shelters, for homebound seniors, and for nonpro t fundraisers. She and her husband are the parents of one daughter and two sons, and grandparents of three.