There, Soriano, known affectionately as Tony by residents, brings smiles to many faces as he belts out popular folk, oldies, country and rock songs, as well as his original compositions.
And in the Life Guidance (Alzheimer's and dementia care) Unit, Martin Ingber, Atria's Engage Life director, says that Soriano's interactive afternoon sing-a-longs are always a highlight of the day.
“I truly believe that we are here on this planet to make each other more comfortable,” Soriano said. “I'm here to make people more comfortable with themselves and with their situation and I use music and comedy to do that.”
The father of three notes that he is not a professional therapist and not a professional comedian, but that throughout his life he's been called a natural.
He has been a musician since age 17. He started out playing in nursery schools before taking an opportunity to work for a Manhattan nursing home. That gig lasted for 18 years before he moved to Atria, where's he been for nine years.
But music is not the only thing Soriano provides. He also hosts discussions and activities such as Science Times, the Atria Men’s Club, and Café Atria. Soriano says he feels lucky and blessed to be doing this as his job every day.
“To be able to put a smile on a person's face, to help them remember something they forgot a long time ago, it's really a blessing,” he said.
For him, using music and humor to lessen the pains inflicted by life and growing older is one of the best remedies. And his hard work constantly pays off.
Earlier this year, Soriano received an Exceptional Service Award by Atria Senior Living, for going above and beyond. In gratitude for the recognition, he said, “I'm just an involved person.”
Soriano, who hails originally from Rome, New York, entertains about 50 to 60 seniors at Atria and has no intentions of stopping any time soon.
“My motto is let’s have fun,” he said. “Live in this moment because it’s the only one we have.”