Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount


AARP’s Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Share Your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Most Popular


In the News

A Musical Tribute to Medicare

Derwyn Holder writes symphony to show gratitude

pill identifier tool

Pill Identifier

Avoid a medication mix-up. Use our tool to identify pills by color, shape and markings.

Derwyn Holder symphony medicare piano

Derwyn Holder writes a symphony thanking Medicare. — Gina LeVay

Listening to the expressive opening measures of Derwyn Holder's Symphony No. 1, you immediately tune in to the New Jersey composer's influences from the jazz arrangements of Gil Evans to the melody's distinctive leaps and twists, which recall the late reed virtuoso Eric Dolphy.

Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter.

What you won't hear unless you ask Holder directly, or read the work's dedication, is that the music is a big "thank you" to Medicare. Operations and therapy have improved Holder's vision, opened clogged blood vessels, and eased the pain of spinal deterioration. The price tag? An estimated $400,000, almost all of it covered through Medicare and related insurance.
Although Holder hopes listeners simply feel his symphony "sounded beautiful," he also hopes they'll read this preamble: "This piece is dedicated, with my deepest gratitude, to President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the 89th Congress, and to all those who have made Medicare possible in the United States — [Also] to the wonderful medical people who, during the past eight years, have made it possible for me to be able to write this music in my 74th year."  

Since the excerpt, above, from Holder's "Medicare" symphony is available for now only via synthesizer, you may get a better idea of the range of his composing through the YouTube video below, featuring the first movement of his guitar concerto.

You May Also Like

Remember to go to the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points