Written by Mallory Lettorale
Marian’s Musical Story
“I don’t enjoy talking in front of others, so I let the piano talk” says Marian Sautter, a Garden Spot Village resident since July 2003.
Music has played a huge role throughout Marian’s life. She attended Westminster Choir College and majored in voice performance and minored in organ study. After college, she became a music therapist at a private hospital in Towson, Maryland and then Norwich State Hospital in Connecticut.
Music therapy was still a relatively new discipline in the 1950s; it was challenging work. She decided to switch careers and moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where she found a job working as an organist for a Presbyterian Church. She met her husband Carl and they married in 1953. Shortly after their wedding, she says, “I told Carl I needed a piano.” They purchased a Mason & Hamlin spinet piano and Marian has played it ever since.
Marian moved to Mountain View Personal Care in September 2023. As she was considering which furniture she wanted to move to her new home, she was very grateful that she could take her piano. Marian says “I am so thankful to have my piano; my music and my piano are so meaningful to me. It’s been my life.”
She started composing her own music in 2020 as a way to stay engaged in purposeful activity. Her collection of songs now totals 123—she is in the process of 124. She explains she has a different kind of style than traditional composers. She writes her music in attempt to express a feeling. Her music is a reflection of life, which can be fun but also complicated at times.
When it comes to the process of starting a new song, she never knows where it will take her. She starts by playing little phrases and fiddling around on the keys until she finds a sound that she likes, which sometimes takes a while. However, it sometimes takes her even longer to think of a title. Her song titles are all unique and typically have a story behind them. A few examples are: Karen’s Dance, He Walks and Talks with Me, Isn’t He Cute?, Oh Good! We are Going to Myrtle Beach, and When I was Sweet Sixteen. Karen’s Dance was named after her daughter who started dancing as she was playing the song for her. Speaking of her daughter, Marian is grateful to have a son and daughter who help her in any way they can and support her musical talent.
She explains that she would love to release her songs, but someone needs to push her to copyright and release them. She loves having her piano with her, even though she says her apartment is a little squished.
“I think the Lord has something more for me to do. I’ve been able to write this music, even though it’s a little different,” she says.