Forging friendships through music

Music Buddies is a unique student-run non profit organization that connects aspiring student performers (musicians, dancers, stand-up  comedians, etc.) with senior citizen communities (Retirement communities, Assisted Living communities, Senior Community Centers, etc.) to share the joy of music and dance through live, interactive performances. Music Buddies does all the background work – researching and contacting senior centers, scheduling performances, enlisting student performers and providing volunteer service forms. Performers simply show up, perform, enjoy and leave!

A non-profit initiative founded by Nishka Ayyar in August 2015, Music Buddies has grown to over 100 student performers and over 25 senior communities in less than a year. Currently, Music Buddies is offered only in the Bay Area, but we hope to launch in other cities soon.


Grandparents Gopal Sankaran and Laxmi Sankaran

"Nishka’s music and dance brought a lot of joy to my wife as she battled cancer. I am sure she is proudly watching Nishka and Music Buddies from above and showering her blessings on all the performers.”


Grandparents Krishnaswamy Ganesan and Lalitha Ganesan

"We are so proud that Nishka has started Music Buddies. Many seniors like us can now connect with young children and enjoy their performances, like we do every time."


"Music Buddies was inspired by my love and deep respect for my grandparents. My four grandparents have been with me since I was born and each of them have enjoyed and encouraged my sister and me to pursue the arts and have been ever willing to appreciate our performances.

Unabashedly, they clapped and cheered for me even when my clarinet squeaked or I missed the beat with my dance steps. Their encouragement and love created a unique connection between us every time I performed, making me realize the enormous therapeutic value of music. I felt compelled to bring this connection and joy to others who didn’t have the opportunity to experience them like my grandparents and I did.

In my grandparents’ honor and in memory of my late grandmother, I launched Music Buddies, a volunteer organization that enlists aspiring student musicians and performers to provide fun and engaging performances at senior centers, retirement communities, and nursing homes.

I hope many young student musicians will be inspired to work with us and join us as we pool our talents to make a difference!”

Nishka Ayyar

Nishka Ayyar is currently a senior at the Harker School in San Jose, CA. She is also the co-founder of PromElle, a peer-to-peer marketplace for teen fashion, loves playing volleyball and the clarinet and hanging out with friends.