Super Senior: Alison Anand

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) - Alison Anand has a lot of history with her prized 300-year-old violin. But lately, the instrument has become, well, second fiddle.

“Yeah, maybe a lot out of practice,” Anand said. But there’s a good reason -- she’s making a splash with her other passion.

But first, a little background. Anand was just three when she started playing the piano. “There are two pictures of me here at this piano here -- the Mason and Hamlin,” Anand explained.

At the age of 11, the violin became her instrument of choice. She became so good that the Vermonter was accepted to the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester. That’s where her two passions would intersect. “I’d go down and practice for two or three hours and then go swimming,” Anand said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: It sounds like you had a good time in college.

Alison Anand: I did, I did. I worked hard.

After college, Anand taught music at the former Trinity College in Burlington. Now, what keeps her financially afloat is just outside of her home. Her business, Alison’s Aquatic School, is bustling. “I’ll tell you a secret. I make more money teaching swimming for nine weeks than I do teaching music for nine months,” Anand said.

During the pandemic, the music students stayed away. “Had it not been for the swimming business, I would have had a financial real struggle,” Anand said.

She has a team of young instructors. “I’m just an overgrown child. Maybe there’s a part of me that never grew up, that could be it,” Anand said.

Kaitlin Scherber is one of them and Alison taught her how to swim. “She really loves seeing kids strive and learning something new and getting that ‘ah ha’ moment. She’s an educator in every sense of the word,” Scherber said.

“If a child learns something new and does it in the pool, I consider that a present,” Anand said.

Appropriate, since today is Anand is turning 79. It’s a yearly tradition. “And then they can write about the gift they gave me of learning this new thing,” Anand said.

Eight-year-old twins Cooper and Colton Prescott are giving Anand their present -- a drawing. “Look, grandma, I did a cannonball,” Colton said, describing his artwork. “Here’s the water and here’s the bottom.”

A lifelong educator in harmony helping others. “That’s a gift to me,” Anand said.

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